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America, China go ape for tablets

Impecunious Europeans less so, says researcher

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Count tablets as personal computers and already fondleslabs account for almost a fifth of the world PC market.

North Americans have embraced tablet technology to their collective bosom, notes market watcher Canalys. In the US and Canada, tablets accounted for 36 per cent of PC shipments during the first three months of 2012.

They took almost half of all the 20.3m tablets that shipped worldwide. Global tablet shipments rose more than 200 per cent year on year.

Over here, however, we're less impressed - or simply less well off. We only took 4.7m - and that figure includes the Middle East and Africa. Some 5m tablets shipped into Asia-Pacific region, China especially.

Europe has more than double the population of the US, yet tablet ownership in Europe is half that of the folks over the pond, says Canalys.

The reasons? A relative paucity of content services, reckons the market watcher, but we'd suggest the state of many a European economy probably matters more. Anecdotally, content and apps are points punters tend to consider after they've bought a tablet, not before.

"Contrast this to booming economies in the Asia Pacific region and the rapid rise in middle income households, particularly in China," said Tim Coulling, a Canalys Analyst. "These present vendors with the greatest opportunities for growth."

No wonder Apple is so keen to put down ProView.

China is now the second largest market for tablets, the researcher said, with shipments in Q1 six times what they were a year earlier. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole hit 232 per cent. Shipments into EMEA grew 180 per cent. ®

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