Tablets are taking over the world
Hop on a train in San Francisco, go to a conference in Atlanta, or enter a Starbucks in Boston, and you’ll inevitably see people using their tablets. It is becoming more and more common to see tablets over laptops, or even smartphones in some cities, as the popularity is rapidly increasing.
NPD DisplaySearch has studied this trend in their Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report1, and assert that tablets like the iPad and Kindle Fire, will be the growth driver for the mobile PC market in upcoming years, forecasting that tablet shipments will surpass notebook shipments in 2016 – faster than some had predicted previously.
“Mobile PC shipments will grow from 347M units in 2012 to over 809M units by 2017.”
The report says that overall mobile PC shipments will grow from 347M units in 2012 to over 809M units by 2017 and that while notebook PC shipments are expected to increase from 208M units in 2012 to 393M units by 2017, tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 121M units to 416M units in this period, for a compound annual growth rate of 28%.
“While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption.”
“Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. “While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption. New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.”
Why the massive growth?
NPD cites adoption in mature markets like Japan, North America, and Western Europe as the key driver for tablet PC growth, which they say will account for 66 percent of shipments in 2012 alone, and remain in the 60 percent range through 2016. The report adds that tablet PC shipments into mature markets will grow from 80M units in 2012 to 254M units by 2017.
“Tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form factor and performance, making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs.”
“Building upon convenience-oriented features including instant-on capability, long battery life and extreme portability, tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form factor and performance, making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs,” the report says. “Tablet PCs are expected to incorporate multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries and higher resolution displays.”
As a side effect, notebooks are evolving to retain market share by reducing their thickness, to adding touch functionality to screens. NPD says the notebook PC market will remain the largest part of the mobile PC market during the forecast period, accounting for 60 percent of mobile PC shipments in 2012, declining to 49 percent by 2017.
1 NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report