The Tablet Takeover
With the emergence of the iPad, media tablets have become poised like never before to dominate the home computer market. With their touch screens and chameleon like abilities to perform a bevy of
tasks, one can only wonder if the takeover is sooner than we think.
- The current market. Currently, tablets comprise only a small portion of computer sales. Though the iPad has been dominating the current tablet market, Apples is still only ranked fourth in global tablet sales. The current
market share: tablet - 6%; netbook - 18%; laptop - 44%.
- Intent to purchase. A recent survey found that 14% of online shoppers intend to purchase a tablet in the next 5 months (14%, that equates to 28 million people).
- Intent to purchase. That is equal to 28 million people purchasing tablets in the next few months (28 million people).
How have tablets affected notebook sales and how will they continue to grow?
- iPad negatively affects notebook sales. With the announcement of the iPad, notebook sales plummeted leading many in the field to speculate that the era of notebooks and laptops may be coming to an end. US notebook
% unit growth: Jul 09 ~ 38%; Jan 10 (iPad announcement) ~ 36%; Apr 10 (iPad launch) ~ 13%; Aug 10 ~ 3%.
- Forecasted tablet sales in North America. As more tablets become available worldwide, including the iPad, many feel that North America's tablet monopoly will quickly slip away (2010 - 61%, 2014 - 43%).
- Potential sales. The number of tablets sold is expected to continue to grow as prices get lower and features become more advanced. The forecasted units below are in millions: 2011 - 19.5; 2012 - 54; 2013 - 103.4;
2014 - 208.
- Share of US PC consumer sales. Tablets are expected to continue to eat up the rest of the PC computer market: 2008 (tablet - 1%, netbook/mini PC - 9%, notebook/laptop - 45%, desktop - 45%); 2009 (tablet - 23%,
netbook/mini PC - 17%, notebook/laptop - 42%, desktop - 18%).
How will tablets shape our relationship with computers?
- Change. The ways tablets will change our computing relationship: Tablets will all but eliminate the need for mouses as advanced multi-touch features allow for ease of use; The one industry that may be hardest hit by the
media tablet takeover is the gaming industry. Mini gaming units now seem impractical when one tablet can perform all the same functions; Tablets, specifically with the iPad have allowed for access to smaller, affordable and
highly tailored applications. Magazines have also found a way to reinvent themselves through applications; The word, cannibalization, has been frequently used to describe media tablets. Given their chameleon like ability to
be both a nook, mp3 player and mini gaming system it seems appropriate to view these devices as electronic Hannibal Lectors.
- Obstacle. Some obstacles tablets must overcome to replace notebooks: With media tablets being advertised as the new work station, many users still require an external keyboard given that the keyboard on the tablets are
less than adequate; The main problem with tablets, as with notebooks, is their inability to perform multiple functions with large programs. In the iPad's case, only a few programs can operate at once and more can share the
screen at the same time.
Sources: garnet, PC World, Morgan Stanley Research Group, Forrester research Inc.