Analyst firm NPD has been gazing into its crystal ball regarding the tablet market, with some interesting predictions.
Tablet shipment numbers hit 81.6 million units last year, and in 2012, 184 million devices are now expected to arrive (a forecast upped from 169 million).
The market is expected to grow to 425 million units by 2017, and in 2016 NPD reckons that the amount of tablet PCs shipped will exceed that of notebooks.
Apple’s all-conquering iPad is expected to begin losing traction in its thus far total dominance of the tablet scene.
While the iPad is predicted to continue its stranglehold on the market with a 72 per cent share this year, that will drop to 50 per cent by 2017. It will still be the dominant individual slate, of course, but Android tablets will collectively have 40 per cent of the market (up from 22 per cent).
Windows RT, the tablet version of Windows 8 built for ARM slates, is only expected to grab a 1.5 per cent share of the market this year, increasing to 7.5 per cent by 2017. Pretty slow growth, much the same story as Windows Phone has had since launch, in its uphill battle against Apple and Google.
Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch Senior Analyst, commented: “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.”