Tablet sales have hit a new high in Europe, outselling laptops for the first time despite a slow in growth.
Analyst Context reported that over 4.5 million units had been sold via distribution during the pre-Christmas period, with the UK seeing the largest amount of sales – 1.5 million. Germany was the second most successful market for tablets, with 950,000 units sold.
Despite the record high for sales, growth in the tablet market slowed, Context added. From Q1 2013 to Q4 2013, growth plummeted from 204.5 per cent to 39.1 per cent.
Tablets now account for 57 per cent of sales in the notebook, netbook and tablet segment, overtaking the more traditional form factors in Q4 2013 for the first time ever.
“Although tablets are expected to move into commercial environments too, this is expected to happen slowly and would for the time being represent an addition to, rather than a replacement of, the traditional clamshell systems,” explained Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at Context.
“Also, recent efforts by vendors to provide ultraportable solutions such as thin and light clamshell laptops and hybrid solutions will also increasingly find their way into the commercial space and successfully compete with tablets.”
Android remains the most popular tablet platform, growing by 82.2 per cent to reach a market share of 69.8 per cent.
By comparison, the Apple iPad grew by only 2.7 per cent to reach 28.9 per cent total share. The iPad is proving most popular in the UK, seeing a 45.7 per cent sales boost in contrast with the rest of western Europe.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets saw no change in market popularity, remaining at 0.9 per cent market share.