The tablet market will grow this year by 38% to 150 million units, but Microsoft won't be a beneficiary, says a new report from ABI Research. Windows tablets, BlackBerry tablets and "unidentified OS implementations" currently make up only 3% of the total market, and don't show signs of significant growth.
The ABI Research report says that an estimated 150 million tablets will ship in 2013, worth an estimated $64 billion. The total number of tablets will grow by a projected 38% over 2012, and the total revenue will grow a projected 28%.
Last year, according to ABI, 60% of tablet used iOS, 37% used Android, and the remaining 3% was made up of Windows tablets, BlackBerry tablets and "unidentified OS implementations." The report didn't report precise projections for the breakdown for 2013, other than to note that "The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets," and that "Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching." The clear implication is that Windows tablets won't gain traction.
The report expects Samsung to do well in the tablet market, saying, "A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company's market share this year."
If current sales are any guide, plenty of Android tablets sold this year will be small ones. App publisher Animoca recently calculated the top 12 Android tablets, based on app usage, and it found that five of the top six are 7-inchers,according to Gigaom.
Theoretically, that could bode well for Microsoft, because the company is said to be at work on a 7-inch Surface tablet. Surface tablets haven't sold well, but perhaps a less-expensive and smaller form factor would help. A possible winner would be a 7-inch Windows tablet that takes advantage of Microsoft's partnership with Barnes and Noble and taps into B&N's vast book repository and growing video offerings, as well as into Microsoft's successful Xbox-based gaming ecosystem.
Still, if ABI Research numbers are right, Microsoft so far hasn't been able to tap into people's growing desire for tablets, and won't in the foreseeable future.
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