Electronic Design

Strong Growth Forecast For Tablets While Netbook Market Flattens

IMS Researchhas released an interim update to its tablet study following six months of Apple iPad sales. The firm estimates that 21 million tablets will ship in 2010 and forecasts this market at 129 million units shipping in 2015. Based on a recently published study, Impact of Connected Tablets on the Consumer Electronics Market – 2010 Interim Update, tablet sales are expected to continue at an even stronger rate as Apple expands its retail reach and as others such as Samsung and RIM introduce new products.

“Apple’s early market leadership will be difficult to catch,” says Anna Hunt, study author and principal analyst at IMS Research. “The market will likely become quite crowded as new tablet products continue to be deployed through 2011, but only a few have the marketing reach and brand presence to compete with Apple.” IMS Research estimates that iPads will account for 73% share of the market in 2010, with Samsung, RIM, and Dell key competitors to watch for 2011.

“In-home telco-branded tablets made by suppliers such as Technicolor and Sagemcom will also start to gain share of the global tablet market. These devices will be targeted at IPTV (Internet protocol television) and triple-play subscribers, offering telcos a new platform for offering additional content and services,” Hunt adds. This segment of the tablet market is forecast to account for 30% of world shipments in 2015.

Tablets are quickly becoming a competitive consideration within the portable consumer electronics space and are expected to have a significant impact on the netbook market. Although IMS Research is still estimating more than 34 million netbooks shipping in 2010, the company did reduce its netbook forecast for units in 2011 by 20% and its forecast for 2015 by half.

“Tablets are expected to take share from netbooks, especially in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan markets,” says Gerry Xu, analyst and author of the newly published World Market for Notebook PCs & Netbooks – 2010 Edition. “However, netbooks are still attractive for users seeking fully featured PCs with a low price and small form factor. This could offset the decreased share caused by the impact from tablet PCs and keep the market flat over the next few years.”

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