Following what one analyst firm is calling a "stellar holiday period", there are now 5 million tablets in use in Australia, or nearly one tablet for every four Aussies.

According to Telesyte, half of these tablets were sold in 2012, and the firm predicts this figure will grow by a further 50% this year, with a focus on cheaper Android tablets.

"Low cost and smaller form factor media tablets, typically without cellular connectivity, are shaping the market," said Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi.

Bigger is not always better

The analyst firm is predicting a shift away from 10-inch tablets towards units with screens ranging from 7 to 9-inches.

This trend is starting to move tablet shoppers away from Apple's iPad and towards lower cost alternatives. Primarily, these alternatives run on Google OS, with Fadaghi believing the platform's success in smartphones is creating a "halo effect" for tablets.

Price is the other major advantage for Android based models, especially with Google's own low-cost Nexus 7. Quality products like these have many tablet shoppers wondering whether the premium price on the iPad is warranted.

Telesyte is also predicting steady growth for Windows 8 tablets, despite some manufacturers losing faith in the platform as a successful system for tablets. Though, loosely defining hybrid Ultrabooks as tablets could prove this prediction correct down the track.

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