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Analyst says iPad boosting tablet PC sales

Posted: 20 Oct 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:media tablets? computers? market report?

The Apple iPad is driving demand for tablet computers, according to Gartner Inc. The market watcher expects worldwide sales of tablet computers to exceed 200 million units in 2014, an exception increase from 19.5 million unit sales projected for 2010.

Gartner says that at least some of that growth will be driven by cannibalization of other sectors as sales step up to 54.8 million units in 2011, double to about 103 million units in 2012, then reach 153 million units in 2013, and achieve 208 million units in 2014.

Aside from the iPad, other media tablets are the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius.

"The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalization of other CE devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media players," said Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner, in a statement. "Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices drop below $300 over the next 2 years."

Low-end consumer notebooks will only suffer marginal cannibalization and smart phones based on open OS will suffer "very limited" cannibalization. The big cannibalization impact will be on high-end smart phones, according to Gartner reckoning that users will find it hard to justify both tools.

North America will account for 61 percent of media tablet sales in 2010. As these devices become available in more markets, North America's share of media tablet sales will drop to 43 percent in 2014.

Gartner reckons there is a limited market for tablet computers in the enterprise market as the majority of knowledge workers cannot use media tablets to replace their notebooks. Since these workers usually also have smart phones, media tablets become a third device that most organizations will not buy.

"Communication service providers who have so far subsidized mini-notebooks to drive mobile broadband uptake will shift their marketing spend to media tablets. Such subsidies will help drive adoption among those consumers who see the initial hardware cost as a hurdle," said Milanesi said. "For the rest, the freedom of paying for cellular only if and when needed, and not having to add another contract to the one a user might already have on his or her phone, is a great advantage and has so far proved successful for Apple."

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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