It’s no secret that tablets have become a dominant force in the mobile industry, but are they beginning to steal the spotlight from smartphones? According to mobile advertising network Jumptap, tablets are continuing to rise as the preferred screen choice for consuming mobile data.
Jumptap’s most recent report indicates that tablets accounted for 18 percent of all traffic on its network at the end of 2012. Comparatively, smartphones comprised 78 percent of the network’s mobile traffic and feature phones accounted for 4 percent. While smartphones still claim a huge chunk of Jumptap’s user base, the company believes that tablets will account for nearly one third of all traffic (29 percent) in the coming months. During 2013, the mobile ad firm also predicts that the smartphone market share will dip down to 70 percent as tablets rise, and feature phone usage will drop to 0 percent.
This isn't the first time we've seen reports that indicate a prosperous year for tablet growth. In December, the IDC upped its forecast for tablet sales in 2013 to a robust 172.4 million units — an increase from its previous estimate of 165.9 million units.
“Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower price points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond,” IDC Research Director Tom Mainelli said in the report.
In terms of mobile operating systems, Android and iOS are vying for the top spot when it comes to owning the mobile market share. Jumptap’s data indicates that Android accounted for 51 percent of its mobile traffic during 2012, while iOS claimed 43 percent of the market share. These numbers are projected to inch up to 52 percent and 44 percent, respectively, in 2013.
Additionally, Samsung could gain control over 59 percent of the Android market share in 2013, Jumptap says.
“As Samsung creates more distance between itself and other Android handset brands, it may begin to pose a threat to Google’s multi-device model,” Matt Duffy, vice president of marketing at Jumptap, said in the report. “Regardless of whether Google puts more muscle behind any other Android handset brand, we believe Samsung will increase its dominance of the Android device market in 2013.”
This echoes a statement from Strategy Analytics in January predicting that Samsung's smartphone sales will jump by 35 percent in 2013.
“We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier portfolio," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in an email interview with Reuters earlier this year.
The Korea-based manufacturer sold 55 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012, while Apple sold 23.6 million smartphones during the same time period, according to research firm Gartner. Samsung is currently gearing up to unveil its flagship smartphone for 2013, the Galaxy S4, while rumors of an iPhone 5S from Apple continue to gain traction.