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Global tablet shipments forecast to rise in Q2

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Worldwide shipments of tablet computers are expected to increase in the second quarter of the year as major brands gear up for the launch of affordably priced products during the period, a local research firm predicted.

In the report released this week, Taipei-based Digitimes Research said global tablet shipments are likely to total 61.42 million units over the April-June period, up 4.9 percent from the previous quarter and rising 30 percent from a year ago.

With launches of more mid-ranged models by major companies, global second-quarter shipments are expected to perform better in the traditional low season, the report said.

Combined shipments from market heavyweights Samsung Electronics Co., Asustek Computer Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd. and Acer Inc. alone could reach 24.62 million units worldwide, up some 50 percent from a year ago, Digitimes predicted.

The growing demand from emerging markets will also drive up shipments from white-box makers, according to the report.

Shipments of white-box tablets in the second quarter could jump to 23.3 million units, while Apple Inc.'s iPad series will likely continue to see a downward trend with 13.5 million units shipped, a 14.8 percent quarterly contraction, the report said.

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