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Tablet Market Growth to Slow After IPads Spur 2013 Holiday Sales

Tablet Market Growth to Slow After IPads Spur 2013 Holiday Sales
IPad Airs sold at the 5th Avenue Apple store in New York, on Nov. 1, 2013. Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Apple Inc.’s iPads and other tablet computers are flying off the shelf this holiday season. Starting next year, growth is expected to slow.

Tablet shipments will climb 54 percent this year to 221.3 million, before decelerating to 22 percent growth in 2014 and less than 10 percent in 2017, researcher IDC said today.

The popularity of smartphones with bigger screens and the market saturation of tablets in the U.S. and other countries will spur the slowdown, said IDC, which previously estimated 2013 shipments of 227.4 million. This year, tablets are among the most popular holiday gift items after Apple, Samsung Electronics Co. and Inc. introduced new devices in time for the shopping rush.

Apple’s dominance is being challenged by Samsung, Amazon and other rivals that are offering lower-cost tablets using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Android will power 61 percent of the tablets shipped in 2013, up from 52 percent last year, while Apple’s market share will fall to 35 percent from 46 percent, IDC said.

By 2017, IDC predicts Microsoft Corp. will be a bigger player, with 10 percent of the tablet market, compared to 31 percent for Apple and 59 percent for Android.

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