It’s been just five years since Apple invented iPad, and within this short span tablets have grown by leaps and bounds. What’s more, the tablet shipment will exceed notebook sales by 2017, according to NPD DisplaySearch forecast report.
A total of 208 million notebooks are expected to be sold in 2012, which will increase further to 393 million units by 2017. However, tablets will grow much more rapidly, growing from an expected 121 million tablets in 2012 to 416 million units by the beginning of 2017. That is a whopping 28 percent compounded annual growth.
“Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” says Richard Shim, an 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.”
Most of the tablet sales growth is likely to come from what NPD calls “mature markets” – Europe, North America and Japan. People in mature markets are fast adapting to more advanced, handy and convenient tablets. Tablets are evolving in terms of performance and functionality, bringing multi-core processors, extreme portability, longer battery life, high resolution displays, growing app libraries and instant-on capabilities. These are the things that make tablets a preferred choice over notebooks.
Notebooks are also evolving in order to compete with the tablet PCs. They are now available with touch functionality, high resolution displays and thinner design. Then why are notebook sales likely to decline in the near future? We think that average users who use PCs only for entertainment, gaming, e-mails and social networking, find tablets more comfortable to use and carry.
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