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7" Tabs, Droid + Microsoft Coming

By Oonagh Reidy & Computer Daily news | Thursday | 14/03/2013

The number of Aussie tab users is set to grow by to 7.5 million this year

However, beyond this, local sales of mini PC tablets will "obviously increase", but not at the exponential rates seen up until now says Alvin Lee, Telsyte analyst told CN. 

Year-on-year tablet growth will be less than 50% he believes. 2.4 million tablet deivces were sold here last year.

Local analysts Telsyte also predict smaller 7- 9-inch tablets, WiFi-only devices and Android and Windows tablets will be the name of the tablet game in the future, as the iPad loosens its dominant grip of the market.

Read: Tab Booom: 2.4 M Sold OZ 2012

Windows 8 tablets, released by Samsung, Asus and Acer are also seeing more opportunity in the business market and those who want to replace an ageing PC or laptop, Lee said.

Windows will also open for Gen Y as "young people are constantly seeking new, innovative products on the market."

So how are we using tabs?

Email, video conferencing (including Skype) and Internet browsing mainly, and in the home mostly, Telsyte believes, which has led to reduced demand of 3G/4G tabs.

But you may not even have to pay for tabs in the future as Lee predicts retailers will bundle tablets with other electronic devices more and more:

"We expect retailers to bundle tablets with TVs, smartphones and other popular devices already selling," like Samsung bundling a Samsung TV with their Galaxy Tab, helping tab sales climb even higher.

"Its a competitive market and all retailers are pitted against one another," Lee said. 

In line with the Telsyte report, researcher IDC said the tablet market globally has been pushed higher by a surge of smaller, lower-priced devices while Google software is set to power more tablets than Apple's operating system for the first time this year.

IDC increased its 2013 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to reach 190.9 million units, up from its previous forecast of 172.4 million units. "One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size.

"And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond" said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani.

Windows to open a crack, maybe

Devices running Google's Android software will climb to 49 percent of the market in 2013, while Apple's share will slip to 46 percent, global researchers IDC said.

Last year, Apple commanded 51 percent, compared with Google's 46 percent.

Longer term, both iOS and Android will eventually give up some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1 percent of the market in 2012 to 7.4 percent in 2017, according to IDC.

The market research firm said growth of low-cost tablets is damaging the prospects of the single-use e-reader, and reduced its forecast increase for this sector to an average 14pc between 2013 and 2016.

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