Mobile by the numbers: Tablets expected to surpass notebooks, plus AT&T and Samsung’s record numbers

Smartphones, tablets and numbers, oh my:

• 240 million vs. 207 million: That’s the number of tablets expected to ship worldwide this year vs. the number of notebook PCs expected to ship this year, according to a new report from NPD. It would be the first time tablets would surpass laptops globally, and the research group says it will be driven in part by the introduction of smaller and cheaper tablets into the market.

By the way, the rise of tablets that can do it all pose a threat to single-use devices, according to a recent Accenture survey cited by TechCrunch. Among the gadgets whose sales have decreased over the past few years are digital video and photos cameras, portable music players, DVRs and DVD players.

• AT&T says today that it sold a record 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter that included the holidays, selling an average of 110,000 iPhones, Androids and Windows phones a day. The news from the nation’s No. 2 wireless provider, which is scheduled to report earnings Jan. 24, comes a day after No. 1 Verizon Wireless reportedly said it added a record 2.1 million subscribers in the fourth quarter.

• And the records keep playing: Samsung says it expects record fourth-quarter profit of $8.3 billion on the strength of its smartphone and tablet sales. The South Korean company, which is locked in a multi-front industry battle with Apple and its iPhones and iPads, will release results later this month. Samsung’s mobile division has replaced the chips division as the biggest source of profits, its chips also have received a boost from growing gadget demand, according to the Associated Press.


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