Tablet shipments expected to overtake notebooks by 2017 – report

4 Jul 2012

NPD DisplaySearch’s ‘Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report’ predicts that shipments of tablet PCs will surpass shipments of notebooks in 2017, with overall mobile PC shipments expected to exceed 800m units in the same year.

Between 2012 and 2017, notebook shipments are expected to increase from 208m units to 393m units, but the balance is predicted to shift towards tablet shipments, which are predicted to increase from 121m units to 416m units in the same period.

Adoption of tablet PCs in mature markets such as North America, Japan and Western Europe is expected to drive this growth, accounting for 66pc of shipments in 2012 and growing from 80m units to 254m units by 2017.

“While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. “New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.”

Worldwide mobile PC shipment forecast (000s)

Worldwide mobile PC shipment forecast

Overall, mobile PC shipments are predicted to grow from 347m units this year to more than 809m units by 2017.

The report also predicts that tablet PCs will continue to evolve form factors and performance, incorporating multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries, and higher resolution displays, becoming ever more competitive to notebook PCs.

Notebooks are expected to advance to meet this challenge, though, with thinner form factors, higher resolution displays and touch functionality features all predicted to become more common.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.