A few years from now, your current laptop or notebook could be as outdated as the 8-track player collecting dust in the basement. But this doesn’t mean that notebook computers will be extinct by year 2016, though sales of notebooks are expected to fall short of tablet sales at the end of this decade, based on a forecast study released by NPD Display Search. Laptop production is still expected to reach up to 390 million units in 2017, while the organization expects an exponential tablet growth, from 121 million in shipments this year to more than 400 million in 2017.
Tablet PC growth will receive a major increase from an increase in demand from mature markets, including western Europe, Japan, and North America. These regions will account for more than 60 percent of tablet shipments for 2012, and will remain in this range up to 2017. The line between notebooks and tablet PCs is slowly blurring, as more and more consumers shift to the direction of sleeker, slimmer, and lighter tablets.
As technological innovations are being discovered, tablet PC features are also evolving, bringing new capabilities, extreme portability, longer battery life, stable operating systems, high resolution LCD displays, multi-core processors, and growing app libraries.
The Tablet PC as a Dominant Working Device
In addition to the predictions by NPD Display Search, Forrester expects worldwide tablet sales to reach 375 million by 2016. They predict that businesses will increasingly purchase tablets for their employees or for other business purposes, and also that emerging markets will contribute to this growth. Tablet PCs are expected to dominate the future personal computing landscape. Experts attribute this growth in tablet use with its longer battery life, information consumption, and a form factor that encourages working and sharing with groups.
As many as one out of ten people will own a tablet PC by the year 2016, and ownership in the Asia Pacific is believed to eclipse that of the North American region. Since the introduction of Apple’s iPad and other Android tablets, the market has grown very quickly. Lower-cost tablet PCs, competition between major manufacturers, and a growing app market will drive further sales in the market. Strategy Analytics also believes that the Asia Pacific region will have a quarter of the sales, and becoming the biggest tablet owning region worldwide, ahead of North America. The firm also predicts that Japan, India, and China will account for more than 70 percent of tablets owned in Asia.
The Death of PCs
Will the rise of tablet PC sales mark the end of laptops and desktops? Most experts think it won’t. But they do believe that even if tablets are becoming consumer favorites and will slow down laptop sales, there will always be a need for powerful and efficient PCs.