With Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad leading the way, shipments of tablets are set to outpace global notebook sales this year, according to latest data from NPD DisplaySearch. The firm projects tablets to reach shipments of 240 million units this year, while only about 207 million notebooks will get shipped.
The tablet market has for years been “dominated by one major player, Apple,” especially with its older, full-sized iPad, but several new rivals are making their mark in a big way in the smaller-screen segment, the research firm said. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released its seven-inch Nexus 7 last year, while Apple also entered the small-screen market with its iPad mini. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) offers a seven-inch Kindle Fire HD, while Samsung (SSNLF.PK) sells a smaller Galaxy Tab.
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“The tablet market has been led by Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad, but in 2013 a new class of small tablets will take over the market,” DisplaySearch said. “Tablet PCs with 7-to-8-inch screen sizes are expected to account for 45 percent, or 108 million units of the market in 2013, overtaking the 9.7-inch size, which will account for 17 percent share or about 41 million units.”