hanks to its strong brand image as well as astute product and price positioning, Apple’s iPad has enjoyed overwhelming success. As a result, the global media tablet market has exceeded growth expectations since tablets were released to the market at the beginning of the second quarter of 2010, reports IHS iSuppli.
IHS predicts global media tablet shipments will reach 60 million units in 2011, up 245.9 percent from 17.4 million in 2010. Shipments are expected to increase to 275.3 million in 2015.
“Following the launch of Apple’s iPad and other high-profile devices, consumers have been bombarded with media tablet advertising and press coverage,” Wilkins noted. “And with the media tablet portrayed as providing the same capabilities as the notebook PC, consumers are considering media tablets to be an alternative to notebooks. This has caused notebook sales growth to slow down compared to past years.”
Nowhere has the impact of tablets on notebooks been more apparent than in the once-hot netbook segment. After enjoying double-digit growth from 2008 through 2010, netbook shipments are set to decline to 21.5 million units in 2011, down 33.2 percent from 32 million in 2010. Shipments are expected to continue to decrease during the coming years and will dwindle to 13.5 million units in 2015.
“A similar user experience to that of the netbook is offered by the media tablet, with both being highly portable platforms allowing convenient consumption of multimedia content, whether offline or online,” Wilkins noted. “Thus, the media tablet is attracting purchases from consumers who otherwise might buy notebooks.”
Ironically, the notebook market is expected to find some solace from the onslaught of media tablets in an unlikely place: the PC tablet. PC tablets are slate or convertible/hybrid tablets that incorporate a full PC operating system such as Windows 7 or Linux.
Unlike the great success of the media tablet, the PC tablet to date has only gained limited penetration into the mainstream business segment as an alternative to the notebook PC, along with small success in vertical markets including medical, logistics and education.