The tablet market experienced a rough first quarter, but still has some growing to do, according to ABI Research. The firm also predicts that the installed base of Android tablets will surpass the iPad this year.
Tablet sales shrank 30% by unit shipments during Q1, but ABI senior practice manager Jeff Orr experts growth to resume for the rest of the year.
“Tablet hardware sales from branded OEMs are likely to top $85 billion this year,” he said. This represents unit shipments of over 200 million.
“We have yet to reach the top of the tablet market and with many world regions just now starting to adopt, the best is yet to come,” Orr said.
A significant proportion of sales will come from smaller Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers producing Android tablets, ABI projects.
Apple's iPad will likely remain the top OEM brand in 2014, but Samsung is continuing to close the gap. Together, the companies could represent upwards of 70% of the world's branded tablet shipments by the end of the year.
But Android is on pace to surpass iOS this year as the top OS by tablet installed base, ABI said. The research firm estimated in September that Android tablet sales had exceeded iPad sales during the second quarter of 2013.