217.1 million tablets were shipped in 2013 – 50 per cent more than in 2012.
Q4 2013 shipments grew to 76.9 million, showing over 60 per cent growth compared to the preceding quarter and 87 per cent compared to the same period the year before.
However, despite the strong numbers, IDC has reported that “signs of slower growth are clear”.
"It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past," explained Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC.
"We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond."
Leading the market worldwide was Apple, shipping 26 million units in Q4 2013 – nearly doubling the 14.1 million shipped in the previous quarter. This performance was backed by the firm’s growth to hold 33.8 per cent of worldwide tablet share – more than the 29.7 per cent held in Q3 2013 but down from the 38.2 per cent held in Q4 2012.
Image of tablet growth courtesy of Shutterstock.co.uk