|According to two research firms, global tablet PC sales this year are expected to outstrip notebooks, netbooks and eReaders. ABI Research and NPD DisplaySearch have both issued reports forecasting this trend.|
2013 will be the year this trend goes global, according to NPD DisplaySearch. That’s three years ahead of analysts’ earlier estimates, and reflects a projected 64% growth in tablet purchases in 2013 versus 2012.
ABI Research said it raised its forecast due to "a combination of new market entrants, more affordable choices for consumers, and increased adoption by business audiences."
ABI Research says there were 13.6 million tablets shipped this quarter, compared to 7.3 million netbooks. Apple's iPad represented 68 percent of the tablet shipments in the second quarter of the year, ABI says.
"Netbooks had previously led the way" with 8.4 million shipments in the first quarter of the year, compared to 6.4 million tablets, ABI said.
"This is a trend that we do not expect will reverse," said Jeff Orr, ABI Research group director, mobile devices, said in a statement.
He cited a number of reasons consumers are going the tablet route.
"Tablets are perceived to be easy to use, compared to the keyboard and mouse interface of a netbook computer," Orr said. "Those who have avoided PCs because they are difficult to use — think the Baby Boomer generation and older — see media tablets as an opportunity to re-engage with Internet access. Cost, however, is certainly not a reason driving tablet interest, as the average media tablet costs approximately $600 and the average netbook is only about half of that."
Notebook sales slow as tablets sales accelerate Source: NPD DisplaySearch
According to ABI the netbook is not completely dead though. "Netbooks still hold interest in under-served countries, where PC penetration to the home, along with broadband services, are not widely available. Media tablet shipments will primarily cater to the early-adopter consumer audiences of Western Europe, the US, Japan, and South Korea.""The late 2012 launches of Apple's iPad mini and a variety of slates based on Intel architecture and new Windows operating systems will only begin to show their progress this year."
Recent media reports have cited the uptake of tablets as the sole cause for the demise of the eBook Reader, though ABI Research’s 10+ year study of the eReader market reiterates that tablets have little to do with the forecasts for dedicated digital readers.
“The facts are that the U.S. market continues to dominate eReader shipments and an aging Baby Boomer population looking to replicate the print reading experience is a waning audience,” adds Orr. “If other world regions do not successfully organize digital publishing markets, the dedicated eReader market will go away without regard for adoption of tablets and other mobile devices.”
SOURCE ABI Research, NPD DisplaySearch
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