Tablet shipments may approach 250 million units in 2017

Shipments of consumer media tablets like the Apple iPad are expected to approach 250 million units in 2017, a report from In-Stat suggests. While analysts at In-Stat see tablet adoption growing rapidly over the next six years, even a number as large as 250 million is conservative when considering the estimates other firms have recently reported. IHS iSuppli, for example, increased its estimates earlier this week, suggesting tablet shipments will surpass 275 million units in 2015. In-Stat still sees tablet having a huge impact on the industry however, and the firm believes Android and iOS will continue to dominate the market through 2017, with Windows gaining less than 10% of the market at that point in time. “The tablet market and its associated ecosystem are still evolving. Over the next few generations we will see more differentiation between devices that are targeting different market segments and usage models,” said In-Stat chief technology strategist Jim McGregor in a statement. “In addition, competitive device and service pricing will bring tablets into the mainstream consumer and enterprise markets.” McGregor continued, “Tablets are joining an array of smart-connected devices that allow users almost unlimited access to content and communications. These new devices mark a significant change in the value change of the electronics industry where the content and applications are now the key differentiators and innovation drivers.” In-Stat’s full press release follows below.

Tablet Shipments to Approach 250 Million Units in 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., August 22, 2011 – Years after the first introduction of prototype concept devices known as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), the tablet fulfilled the promise of this product category. The tablet market reached an inflection point through the combination of a new device (the Apple iPad), new business models supported by wireless operators, and new usage models through cloud computing and mobile applications. As we enter the last half of 2011, In-Stat forecasts more growth opportunities as a result of price degradation, and new tablets from major consumer electronic (CE) companies like Samsung, Motorola, BlackBerry, LG, and HTC. New In-Stat (www.in-stat.com) research forecasts that this trend will help push tablet shipments toward 250 million units in 2017.

“The tablet market and its associated ecosystem are still evolving. Over the next few generations we will see more differentiation between devices that are targeting different market segments and usage models. In addition, competitive device and service pricing will bring tablets into the mainstream consumer and enterprise markets,” says Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist. “Tablets are joining an array of smart-connected devices that allow users almost unlimited access to content and communications. These new devices mark a significant change in the value change of the electronics industry where the content and applications are now the key differentiators and innovation drivers.”

Recent research findings include:

  • In the consumer segment, tablets are competing against all CE and computing devices, not just PCs.
  • Despite similarities in system hardware and software architecture, usage models among mobile devices vary by device type.
  • The combination of mobile applications, new semiconductor technology, and the full Internet experience are key factors in empowering the tablet market.
  • The 9-inch to 11-inch form factor is forecasted to be the dominant tablet form factor with 56% of the market in 2017.
  • iOS and Android are forecast to maintain over 90% of the market share with Windows as a distant 3rd.
  • Not supporting one of the leading OS platforms is likely to lead to the failure of several companies in the tablet market due to lack of application support.
  • Wireless operator business models could have a tremendous impact on future tablet demand.

Recent In-Stat research, The Reality and Ramifications of Tablets (#IN1105088ID), a 30 slide PowerPoint presentation, covers the history, current state, and outlook for tablets including terms of tablet definitions, usage models, market position relative to other devices, evolution of the technology and the market, and forecast for growth by region, consumer and business segments, form factor, and operating system (OS). The report also discusses the challenges facing tablets, the factors that could significantly increase growth prospects for tablets, and the ramifications tablets are having on the overall electronics ecosystem.

This research is part of In-Stat’s Portable and Computing Connected Devices service, provides analysis of the market for portable consumer electronics, including e-readers, digital photo frames, portable media players, handheld games, personal navigation devices, digital radio, digital cameras and electronic toys.

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