The must have gadget of 2012
The tablet as we now know it now has only been around since the launch of the iPad in 2010 and already the gadget are taking over. 2012 was the year which really made the tablet, with devices in all shapes and sizes for all budgets leading to a boom in demand.
IDC raised its worldwide tablet forecast a number of times during 2012 due to strong demand and high expectations. The firm's December figures predicted tablet shipments for the entire year to reach 122.3 million. See also: What tablet should I buy? iPad, Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7...
"Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower prices points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond," said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC.
Google was a key player in the growth of tablets during 2012 with the introduction of the Nexus 7, a high-end tablet with a game changing price tag of just £159. The tablet has sold out on a number of occasions on the Google Play Store.
See also: Group test: what's the best tablet PC?
Although Google hasn't released sales figures for the Nexus 7, it has been reported that the Android tablet is being bought up at a rate of one million per month. Sales were aided by the decision to double storage capacities and introduce a 3G model.
As well as setting a new standard for budget tablets, Google took on the iPad with its Nexus 10 – a Samsung made tablet with a Retina beating resolution of 2560 x 1600. There hasn't been any word on sales figures but at the time of writing both models are sold out. See also: Group test: what's the best Android tablet?
Amazon announced that Black Friday was the biggest sales days is had ever had for the Kindle family. The online retailer said that sales of Kindle devices, including tablets and eBook readers, were higher than any other day in its entire history.
The bestselling product on Black Friday for Amazon was the original Kindle Fire. This was mainly down to the fact that Amazon dropped the price down to £99 for a period of a few days – a discount of £30.
Meanwhile, as we go to press, the Kindle Fire HD, priced the same as the Nexus 7, is predicted to be the must-have tablet for Christmas.
Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Kindle, said: "the reaction has been incredible. Customers purchased more than three times as many Kindle devices on Black Friday than on any other day in its history on Amazon.co.uk, and our previous record was impressive,"
Last month we reported that Apple had lost 15.1 percent share to Android in the tablet market. However, this was during a period leading up to the launch of two new iPad models.
The fourth generation iPad, known as the iPad with Retina display and iPad mini sold incredibly well over their first weekend on sale at the beginning of November. According to Apple, it sold three million iPads in the space of three days setting a new launch weekend record.
The figure, which included all models of the iPad 4 and iPad Mini was double that of the third generation iPad. Reports suggested that it was the smaller iPad which sold more units, at 2.3 million.
Apple also joined in the Black Friday celebrations offering discounts on various products. The gadget maker offered up to £51 off the price of an iPad 4 and £21 less than the regular asking price for an iPad 2.
A big and important addition to the tablet party in 2012 was Microsoft with its Surface RT – Windows 8 tablet aiming to be ideal for both work a play. The firm hasn't released any sales figures but various reports suggest lower demand than expecting forcing Microsoft to lower its order from four million units down to two because of the poor performance.