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Tablet Sales Create Opportunities for Small Business

Media tablets . / Credit: Media tablets image via Shutterstock

If your business doesn't already have a mobile app, it might be time to create one.  That's because tablet sales are projected to continue their rapid growth over the next year.

Globally, 150 million tablets are projected to ship before the end of the year. That number represents a 38 percent increase in shipments from last year. Those sales have the potential to increase the bottom line for many other companies as well. Researchers estimate that potential end-user revenues are projected to reach $64 billion this year, which represents a 28 percent increase from 2012.          

[The Best Tablets for Your Business]

Despite growing sales of tablets, two companies control a vast majority of sales. Those companies — Apple and Android — control close to 97 percent of the tablet market. Overall, 60 percent of tablet shipments last year ran Apple's iOS operating system, while 37 percent of tablets ran Google's Android operating system. The other 3 percent are made up of Windows, BlackBerry and other tablet operating systems. 

Though Apple still controlled the majority of tablets sold last year, tablets running Android are now starting to gain some ground. That is a byproduct of the fact that many companies, including Samsung, Google and Amazon, are beginning to develop more tablets that run the Android operating system.  

"The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching," said Jeff Orr, mobile devices senior practice director at ABI Research, which conducted the research. "The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom-line impact this is having for Apple. The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7-inch iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood."

Despite the popularity of Apple, Orr says that 2013 may belong to Samsung. That's because researchers expect the popularity of Samsung smartphones and other existing tablets to extend into increased sales for the brand in 2013.    

"A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company’s market share this year," said Orr.

These findings were based on research by ABI Research's on tablets, Ultrabooks and e-readers.  

Email David Mielach or follow him @D_M89. Follow us @bndarticlesFacebook or Google+.