John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Tablets Quickly Becoming the Portable PC of Choice

If tablet shipments continue to trend the way they have been, they’ll grow more than fivefold in as many years.

That’s the latest forecast from NPD DisplaySearch, which anticipates a massive uptick in tablet adoption over the next few years, one that will ultimately vault the device’s market share over the PC’s. The research outfit figures tablet shipments will grow from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 184.2 million in 2013 — significantly more than the 168.9 million NPD had originally predicted.

And by 2017, NPD expects them to hit 424.9 million units, exceeding notebook PC shipments — for the second year in a row.

The key drivers of that explosive growth: The tablet’s rapidly evolving feature set, and increased investments in the tablet supply chain, as consumer interest in other device categories cools.

“So far in this relatively young product category, the tablet PC market has been dominated by Apple and has tended to include a number of competing products that are similarly configured to the iPad,” says NPD DisplaySearch’s Richard Shim. “However, as the market matures and competitors become better attuned to consumer preferences and find opportunities to break new ground, we expect the landscape to change dramatically, giving consumers more choices, which will drive demand for more devices.”

More choices in hardware, perhaps. But not so much in operating systems.

Over the next five years, NPD sees the tablet market dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, with some small inroads made by Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows RT. By 2017, the firm sees iOS with a 50.9 percent share of the market, Android with a 40.5 percent share, and Windows with a 7.5 percent share.

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