This explosion in sales has resulted in the population penetration of tablets reaching 40 per cent at the end of 2013, according to Telsyte, whose Australian Media Tablet Study 2014 is released today.
A draft version seen by CDN estimates that 9.4 million Australians were using media tablets at the end of 2013 with usage expected to reach 22 million by 2018 - suggesting annual rates of 4-5 million continuing over that period.
Telsyte now predicts that media tablet penetration in Australia will exceed computer/PC penetration in the middle of 2015."Australians are increasingly seeing their tablets as their main computing device in the home," comments Telsyte MD and principal analyst Foad Fadaghi.
Driving the continued explosion in sales Down Under is the arrival of capable low-cost Android tablets, Telstye says.
The company estimates 29 percent of units sold in 2013 fall into the "low" - ie, under $200 - or "medium" ($200-400) categories, and it forecasts this segment will grow to more than 50 percent of sales by 2018.
Unless things change, this will hit current market leader Apple, whose market share dropped from 72 per cent in 2012 to 55 percent in 2013, despite introducing the iPad mini with Retina display and iPad Air.
But the arrival of low-cost Android units is also impacting Samsung and other premium Android vendors, which are facing increased price competition.Telsyte estimates Apple sales grew 52pc to 2,6 million units in 2013, while Android sales were up 186 percent at 1.9 million.
The report says low-cost units are becoming a favourite secondary device in the household, with one in five owners having two or more media tablet devices.
The boom is also seen as impacting the smartphone market as well as PCs: nearly a quarter of Australian media tablet users claim they are spending less time on their mobiles and more on their tablets, Telsyte reports.
Telsyte claims the Australian Media Tablet Study - published twice a year - is the most comprehensive study of tablet sales, usage and trends in Australia.
The latest edition contains more tablet data than Telsyte has ever previously released, Fadaghi told, CDN yesterday. "It's a cracker," he added proudly