This Christmas was a big one for sales of tablets, but research firm NPD Group expects the market to continue growing for the next few years. Its latest figures predict that 315m tablets will ship in 2014, rising to 455m by 2017, with the average selling price of a tablet falling from $311 to $296 over that period, as more affordable models catch on. “Increased competition will mean more attention on, and development of, various segments of the market, which will ultimately lead to greater choice and devices that better fit the needs of consumers,” said analyst Richard Shim. NPD also sees emerging countries as important to these growth trends, claiming that nearly half of tablet shipments in the developing world this year will cost less than $200.

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