Software vendor Microsoft will take 5 percent of the tablet PC market share in 2014 from 2 percent in 2012, said Canalys.
The forecast assumes significance as Microsoft is in the process of completing the acquisition of Finnish phone vendor Nokia in a $7.2 billion deal.
This is also bad news for both Apple and Samsung, the two dominant players in the global tablet space.
Microsoft will become a fully-fledged smart mobile device vendor in 2014.
Canalys Research Analyst Pin Chen Tang suggested that Microsoft must drive app development and better utilize other relevant parts of its business to round out its mobile device ecosystem. A critical first step is to address the coexistence of Windows Phone and Windows RT. Having three different operating systems to address the smart device landscape is confusing to both developers and consumers alike.
Canalys said Apple’s recent launch of the iPad Air and new iPad mini will strengthen its position in Q4 2013. For Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics, the report noted.
Android-derived operating systems will be responsible for driving growth in the market and are forecast to take 65 percent share in 2014 with 185 million units.
Korean devices vendor Samsung continues to lead with strong year-on-year growth coming from its broad tablet portfolio, and in Q3 2013 it had a 27 percent share of Android tablet shipments.
Samsung will be challenged by small-to-micro brand vendors in established and high-growth markets and international players such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and HP.
Vendors such as Nextbook in the United States, and Onda and Teclast in China ship more units than some of the major international top tier vendors in their home countries.
Canalys predicts that next year tablets will almost out ship all other PC form factors combined, forming almost 50 percent of the total client PC market (desktops, notebooks, and tablets).
The client PC market grew 18 percent in Q3 2013, despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline. Tablet PC shipments accounted for 40 percent of PC shipments in Q3 2013, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments.
Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017. Apple and Samsung are expected keep ahead of their competitors in the medium term, but there could be challenges for both vendors as competition in the tablet market continues to heat up.