Shipment of tablets running Android operating system will surpass the Apple iPad this year for the first time, according to a research firm, International Data Crop (IDC).
Tablets running Android operating system had expended their market share in 2012 and the trend will continue even this year, said IDC.
"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 Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for IDC's Tablet Tracker. "Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits."
IDC forecast that shares of Android-based tablets will reach a peak of 48.8 percent this year followed by Apple's iPad at 46 percent and Windows-based tablets will have a combined total market share of 4.7 percent.
"Microsoft's decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC.
"Consumers aren't buying Windows RT's value proposition, and long term we think Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road," he added.
IDC stated that the growth of low-cost tablets is clearly damaging the prospects of the single-use eReader. The research firm believes that eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units. After declining to 18.2 million units in 2012, the category is expected to grow only modestly in 2013 and 2014, before it begins a gradual and permanent decline beginning in 2015.
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