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Hybrid tablet shipments will increase five-fold by 2018

Hybrid tablet PCs are hated by some and love by others but new figures show they are well and truly here to stay with shipments set to reach 50 million units by 2018.

Related: iPad takes lowest tablet market share since launch as Samsung surges

The Marmite of the device world is set to experience a five-fold increase in device shipments between the 2013 and 2018 with the number increasing from an estimated 9.5 million units in 2013 to 50 million by 2018, according to Juniper Research.

The figures came as part of the “Tablets & Hybrids: Market Prospects 2014-2018” that made a variety of observations on the emerging segment as new form factors continue to flood the market.

One niche that is particularly interesting is the “grey area between the tablet and Ultrabook market” that appeals mainly to business and gamers that have large amounts of disposable income to spend on such devices. It mentions that the latest Galaxy TabPRO is the perfect device to take advantage of this segment thanks to its status as a business-friendly tablet with a dedicated keyboard and mouse.

The prices of hybrid tablet PCs is set to stay the same of the five years between 2013 and 2018 due to the more affluent demographics that buy the devices. When it comes to regular tablets the research firm stated that retailers are launching low cost tablets to get customers onto their online service using widgets and pre-installed features.

Juniper also commented that education authorities are increasingly adopting low-cost tablets across the globe thanks to the fact they are affordable to provide to students, with India and Thailand among the countries rolling out schemes.

Related: Tablets to make up 50% of PC market in 2014, Apple and Samsung to dominate

Figures on the global tablet market show that 195.4 million devices were sold during 2013, which was an increase of 68 per cent compared to the 116.3 million purchased during 2012, according to Gartner. The numbers also revealed that Android tablets accounted for 61.9 per cent of the market in 2013 – the first time ever that it has outsold Apple’s iOS tablets.