Ditching your PC? Plan to buy a tablet? One way or another, the industry is growing, and a new report from ABI Research suggests that tablet shipments will top 145 million units this year, propelled by Microsoft’s Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro operating system, as well as new Android and iOS tablets.

“The rate of innovation is slowing as tablet vendors augment their product portfolios to meet the needs of market audiences,” ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr explained. “The late 2012 launches of Apple’s iPad mini and a variety of slates based on Intel architecture and new Windows operating systems will only begin to show their progress this year.”

Here’s a really compelling stat: North America is the largest region in the world buying tablets. In fact, ABI Research said that 50 percent of all shipments will be to consumers in North America this year. Tablets are also expected to become more prevalent in the work place; the enterprise sector is expected to eat up 19 percent of all tablet shipments this year.

Worldwide Tablet Shipments to Reach 145 Million in 2013 as Affordable Options and Windows Take Hold, Says ABI Research

OYSTER BAY, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Whether for entertainment, convenience, or enhancing productivity, media tablets continue to take the market by storm. According to market intelligence firm ABI Research, an estimated 145 million tablet devices will ship worldwide in 2013. A combination of new market entrants, more affordable choices for consumers, and increased adoption by business audiences will support the growth.

“The rate of innovation is slowing as tablet vendors augment their product portfolios to meet the needs of market audiences”

“The rate of innovation is slowing as tablet vendors augment their product portfolios to meet the needs of market audiences,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “The late 2012 launches of Apple’s iPad mini and a variety of slates based on Intel architecture and new Windows operating systems will only begin to show their progress this year.” Most of the attention for tablets is coming from North America where the outlook for 2013 has the region consuming just over 50% of worldwide shipments.

Business interest in tablets is expected to grow to 19% of all shipments in 2013 as more PC OEMs unveil product solutions designed for the workplace. While some cannibalization of the PC installed base is likely, the majority of new tablet opportunity comes from workers that have, until now, worked without the benefits of computing technologies.

Recent media reports cited the uptake of tablets as the sole cause for the demise of the eBook Reader, though ABI Research’s 10+ year study of the eReader market reiterates that tablets have little to do with the trajectory of dedicated digital readers. “The facts are that the U.S. market continues to dominate eReader shipments and an aging Baby Boomer population looking to replicate the print reading experience is a waning audience,” adds Orr. “If other world regions do not successfully organize digital publishing markets, the dedicated eReader market will go away without regard for adoption of tablets and other mobile devices.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets and eReaders (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/media-tablets/) Research Service.