Just when you thought tablet adoption rates couldn’t possibly go any higher, a recent forecast report from NPD DisplaySearch claims that the next five years will see tablet shipments increase fivefold, up to a level where they will surpass notebook PC shipments. This significant increase in tablet sales could materialize due to the big investments made by various manufacturers in the tablet market, as well as to the growing diversity of hardware offerings.
In 2011, tablet shipments figures have reached 81.6 million units. According to the NPD report, 184.2 million tablets are expected to ship in 2013. By 2016, tablet shipments will exceed notebook PC shipments, and reach 424.9 million units in 2017.
According to Richard Shim from NBD DisplaySearch: “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.” “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.”
But although it’s certain that users will soon face more choices when deciding on the hardware, almost all tablets will be confined to one of three major operating systems: Apple’s iOS (estimated to own a 50.9% share of the tablet market by 2017), Android (estimated to hold a 40.5% market share by 2017) and Microsoft’s Windows, an OS that the people at NPD believe will fail to attract a large number of users (estimated market share by 2017 – just 7.5%).
While such predictions are definitely useful in understanding trends, it should be mentioned that they are not set in stone, as change is the only evergreen trend you will find in the tech world.
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