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Tablet spending to top $72 billion despite Microsoft’s Surface struggle

by Doug Drinkwater

June 28 2013

Microsoft's Surface tablets have struggled to take off since launch
Microsoft's Surface tablets have struggled to take off since launch

ABI Research expects $72 billion to be plundered on new tablets in 2013, but still sees a long road ahead for Windows 8 models like Microsoft’s Surface.

Releasing a summary of findings from its “Media Tablets and eReaders” market data today, analysts at the firm detailed how one market in particular remains keen on the iPad and other tablets.

"Three regions of the world are expected to yield 97% of tablet revenues in 2013," said senior practice director Jeff Orr.

"North America is forecasted to claim nearly half of the estimated $72 billion expected to be spent this year on tablet devices. Western Europe and Asia-Pacific will also have their hands in the honey pot for a combined 50% of world tablet revenues, respectively."

ABI Research didn't release a detailed breakdown of what tablets consumers are splashing their cash on, but did offer a snippet of new information on Windows 8, which currently trails iOS and Android in the tablet market.

The research firm claims that more than 39 million tablets shipped worldwide during the first quarter, but says that Windows 8 success is slow coming. Indeed, the company said that Microsoft shipped just 1.5 million Surface tablets in Q1, a relatively small number but still an improvement on previous reported figures.

"The average selling prices for Windows 8 and Windows RT are higher than other platforms, which is keeping price erosion minimized," said Orr.

However, this could soon change going forward, especially now that the first sub-10-inch Windows 8 tablets have come to market. Acer's 8.1-inch Iconia W3 is already selling from $350, while Microsoft is rumored to be working on a $299 Surface Mini tablet.

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