2013 is predicted to be a banner year for the tablet market. According to estimates by NPD DisplaySearch, over 240 million tablets will ship globally in 2013 versus an estimated 207 million notebooks. The research firm believes that shifting market dynamics are going to create the opportunity for greater variety of choices in the market that has been dominated by Apple and its iPad in the past.
NPD believes that the development and adoption of new screen sizes will allow both large and small tablet makers to gain traction in all regions and to create an increased demand for tablets. Traditionally, the tablet market was led by the 9.7-inch iPad. However, NPD believes that in 2013 a new class of small tablets will take over the market.
The research firm believes that these tablet PCs will have screens in the 7 to 8-inch size and that size range is expected to account for 45% of the total tablet market in 2013. If that number is correct, 7 to 8-inch tablets would account for 108 million units sold in 2013. The 9.7-inch screen market is expected to account for 17% of the overall tablet market working up to about 41 million units sold.
Much of the market growth is expected to occur in China. China is predicted to have 27% of the global tablet market during 2013 and to be responsible for 65 million units sold. North America will continue to be the largest market for tablets in 2013 with 35% of the market or 85 million units being sold within North America. China and North America both saw tablet PC shipments pass notebook shipments in 2012.