Tablet Sales to Dominate Laptops on Black Friday and Beyond

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Black Friday is best known for its blockbuster deals, but if a new report for NPD DisplaySearch proves true, November 23rd may go down in the annals of history for a more memorable reason. This Black Friday will spark a holiday shopping season during which tablets will crush traditional notebooks at the cash register -- and the research firm expects slates to maintain a firm grip on the lead for the foreseeable future.

NPD DisplaySearch predicts domestic fourth quarter tablet shipments to fall somewhere in 21.5 million unit range, dwarfing the 14.6 million clamshells expected to move in the same time frame. The train should keep rolling in 2013, when NPD DisplaySearch anticipates 80 million annual tablet shipments compared to 63.8 million laptops. [MORE: 12 Hottest Holiday Tablets]

That trend doesn't continue over to the global scene, however. The firm anticipates worldwide tablet shipments to topple worldwide laptop shipments in 2015. Why is the U.S. so far ahead of the curve?

Analysts chalk it up to a few different factors. First and perhaps foremost, the PC market is exceedingly mature in the U.S., where most households already have a primary computer. Additionally, more and more Americans are shunning notebooks and turning to tablets as a secondary device, which has led to big-name players like Amazon, Google and Apple to focus their attention on the U.S. market. That in turn has transformed into a price war of sorts, with several strong slate contenders at $199.

Take those factors, mix them up with those low, low Black Friday prices, and the stage is set for tablet domination. Be sure to check out the LAPTOP Holiday Gift Guide to find our picks for the best tablets, tablet accessories and more. (Yes, we lay out the hottest laptop notebook, too.)