PRAGUE: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has become one of the strongest growing markets for tablets, according to the latest industry data which found low-cost Android devices driving demand.

Android tablets accounted for 84% of total shipments in the second quarter of 2013, the International Data Corporation reported, which also forecast tablets to overtake portable PCs in the last quarter.

IDC said tablet shipments totalled 3.6m units over the period – a rise of 175.6% compared with the second quarter of 2012 – and that growth shows no sign of slowing.

"Price matters in the CEE region," said IDC programme manager Nikolina Jurisic, who added that the PC and tablet markets are going through a major transition.

"This trend is expected to continue as the competition in the low end of the market intensifies with new second-tier vendors entering the market and forcing international vendors to further reduce prices," she predicted.

It is expected that Android tablets will maintain market dominance, although Windows OS tablets are expected to grow to make up 9.2% of the market in 2017, by which time iOS tablets are also forecast to account for about 13%.

Much of the rapid growth over the second quarter was attributed to strong demand for Linux tablets priced at less than $80 in Russia and Ukraine, where consumers preferred low prices over functionality.

The tablet market for the entire region is expected to grow to nearly 15m shipments by the end of 2013 and to reach 25.6m by 2017.

Jurisic explained: "Tablet shipments are driven by low price tags, portability, ease of use, and the increasing popularity of social media applications."

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff