Driven by the juggernaut that is the Apple iPad, tablets shipments wil soar past those of notebooks by 2016 and break the 800 million mark a year later according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report.
The analyst expects overall mobile PC shipments to grow from 347 million units in 2012 to over 809 million units by 2017, with notebook PC shipments increasing from 208 million units in 2012 to 393 million at the end of 2017. By contrast it projects tablet PC shipments to grow from 121 million units to 416 units over the same period, a compound annual growth rate of 28%.
At the heart of the continued tablet uptake, says the report, is adoption in mature markets
, including North America, Japan and Western Europe, which are set to account for two-thirds of shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60% range throughout the forecast period. Tablet PC shipments into mature markets will grow from 80 million units in 2012 to 254 million units by 2017.
“Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” commented 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.”
NPD DisplaySearch believes that in response to this challenge from tablets, notebook PCs are also evolving to have thinner form factors, higher resolution displays and touch functionality features.