Some 150 million tablets will be shipped this year globally, a 38 percent increase from 2012, according to ABI Research.
This year's tablet shipment is going to be worth an estimated US$64 billion, up 28 percent from 2012, in potential end-user revenues, said ABI Research analysts.
In terms of market share, about 60 percent of last year's tablet shipments used Apple's iOS operating system software while 37 percent were based on Google's Android OS (or development forks of Android, such as found on Amazon's Kindle Fire slates).
The remaining three percent OS share consisted of Windows (Windows 7, 8, or RT), BlackBerry Tablet OS, and unidentified OS implementations.
"The tide is definitely turning towards Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching," said ABI Research mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr.
"The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom line impact this is having for Apple. The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7" iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood," added Orr.
The next opportunity is for a vendor challenger to break away from the pack and move closer to Apple, according to ABI Research analysts. Most would consider Samsung the likely pursuer, though the company was mired in legal proceedings during much of 2012.
The success Samsung has seen during the past year with smartphones, Android OS, and the Galaxy Note II, is expected to migrate across to tablets in 2013. "A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company's market share this year," added Orr.
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