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Tablet shipments could reach 800 million by 2016
Move over laptops, consumers are pushing to mobile. That, according to the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report available from NPD DisplaySearch. The report indicates 'mobile PC' - i.e. tablet and laptop - shipments could surpass 800 million by 2016.
In 2012 tablet/mobile PC shipments are expected to reach 347 million; notebook/PC shipments are expected to reach 208 million. The breakdown for 2016 is expected to be 416 million (tablet) and 393 million (PC) for a total of 809 million mobile units.
So, laptops are exactly dying, but their hold on the market will decrease; in 2012 laptops are expected to make up about 60% of mobile PC shipments but by 2017 they'll account for less than half.
"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."
The 'always on' functionality of tablets is one drawing factor for many consumers, finds the researchers. The future 'tablet PCs' are expected to include multi-core processors, app libraries and high-res displays while more traditional laptops are expected to evolve to be thinner, lighter and to involve touch-screens.
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