If you think you’ve seen enough folks taking pictures with their tablets on the street, you will want to check out the latest forecast from NPD DisplaySearch about worldwide tablet shipments. According to the research firm, the popularity of tablets is set to reach fever pitch in 2016 – that’s when shipments of the ubiquitous mobile computing device is expected to beat notebooks.
NPD said that overall mobile PC shipments will reach 809 million units in 2017, a sizeable growth compared to the 374 million units that will be recorded in 2012. While notebooks rule the roster this year, with expected shipments of 208 million units, their numbers will only grow to 393 million units by 2017. Compared this to tablets, which NPD believe will hit 416 million units of shipments by the same period.
NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Sim said that there will be bigger shifts of consumer preference from notebook to tablets, with mature markets set to lead the way. “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,” he explained.
Mature markets like North America, Japan, and Western Europe will be the key driver to the wider adoption of tablets, with shipments in the regions to accelerate from 80 million units this year to 254 million units by 2017.