The reaction to Apple’s iPad tablet device will be a revitalisation of the tablet form factor, resulting in the tablet PC market being worth potentially more than US$11 billion by 2014.
Research firm Strategy Analytics foresees that the iPad will cannibalise existing product categories of netbooks, smart books, e-book readers and mobile internet devices.
New converged mobile devices— which are larger than a smart phone and smaller than a notebook computer — will attract attention from consumers in all categories.
Purchasers who were considering one of these devices will now reappraise the situation with the emergence of the iPad, which can perform many of the functions of the other products, while providing Apple’s renowned usability and multimedia entertainment.
“Without a doubt each of the four categories will feel the impact of the iPad,” commented Peter King, director; Connected Home Devices service at Strategy Analytics.
“However, each product still has its own strength and will retain consumer loyalty from dedicated users.
“The iPad will appeal to those consumers who are mobile and have a further interest in books, music, games and location-based services, in contrast to the road warrior who must carry all his data with him, or the dedicated book reader, who requires e-ink capability.
“Apple will not be alone in the new tablet category, which Strategy Analytics forecasts to be worth over $11 billion in devices alone by 2014. Competition will follow quickly,” King said.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Apple’s new iPad tablet