A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile computer with a touchscreen display, circuitry and battery in a single device. Tablets come equipped with sensors, including cameras, a microphone and an accelerometer, and the touchscreen display uses finger or stylus gestures substituting for the use of computer mouse and keyboard. They usually feature on-screen, pop-up virtual keyboards for typing. Tablets may include physical buttons for basic features such as speaker volume and power, and ports for network communications and battery charging. Tablets are typically larger than smartphones or personal digital assistants at 7 inches (18 cm) or larger, measured diagonally. Tablets can be classified into several categories according to the presence and physical appearance of keyboards. Slates and booklets do not have a physical keyboard and typically feature text input performed through the use of a virtual keyboard projected on a touchscreen-enabled display. Hybrids and convertibles do have physical keyboards, although these devices typically also make virtual keyboards available.
Conceptualized in the mid-20th century and prototyped and developed in the last two decades of that century, in 2010 the first modern tablet, the iPad, was released. In March 2012, PC Magazine reported that 31% of U.S. Internet users owned a tablet, used mainly for viewing published content such as video and news. The top-selling line of devices was Apple's iPad with 100 million sold between its release in April 2010 and mid-October 2012, but iPad market share in 2013 (number of units) was down to 36% with Android tablets selling to 62%. Android tablet sales volume was 121 million devices, plus 52 million, in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Individual brands of Android operating system devices or compatibles follow iPad with Amazon's Kindle Fire with 7 million, and Barnes & Noble's Nook with 5 million. As of February 2014, 83% of mobile app developers were targeting tablets, but 93% of developers were targeting smartphones. As of 2015, tablets are a large product category ever since the iPad was released in 2010, when tablets experienced a rapid rise in popularity and ubiquity.
As of July 2015, the tablet use in the world is nearly split evenly between the iPad and Android tablets with about half the world using the latter, with the iPad holding majority use in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia and Android tablets are more popular in most of Asia (China an exception), Africa and Eastern Europe.