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Media Tablet Sales Set To Explode Over The Next 4 Years

samsung-galaxy.gifGartner has released a new forecast which predicts explosive grow in the media tablet market.

Sales of this new product category are expected to grow from about 20 million units in 2010 to over 200 million units in 2014, with changes in regional and product feature mix.

Media Tablets

According to Gartner, a media tablets are “slate devices that support touch and run a lightweight OS such as iOS (Apple), Android (Google), WebOS (Palm) or Meego (Nokia). Examples of media tablets are the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Cisco Cius.”

In terms of usage, Gartner VP of Research Carolina Milanesi commented, “tablets are not mini-notebooks and they are certainly not Tablet PCs. If you think this market will be as small as the mini-notebook market you are looking at media tablets like younger siblings of a PC rather than older siblings of smartphones. Media tablets have much more in common with a smartphone than a PC.”

Rapid growth with a changing mix

Projected annual shipments for this category of device is shown below.


As a comparison, Gartner predicts that in 2014 close to 500 million phones with an ASP higher than $300 will be sold around the world.

Geographically, North America will initially lead the way, with 61 percent of media tablet sales in 2010. However as the devices become more widely distributed, international markets will grow to represent 57 percent of the sales by 2014.

The physical features of media tablets are also expected to evolve over time. Milanesi continued, “While we expect 7inch tablets to be popular in the short term due to the limitations of Android and because they are closer to smartphones we expect that in the long run 10inch tablets will be more successful as they offer a superior experience.”

These devices normally require some sort of communication capability, either WiFi, a cellular (eg 3G) connection, or both. During 2010 tablets with both kinds of communications will be just over half the shipments, but this number will rise to 80% by 2014.

From business to personal use

In this early stage market, many of these devices are being used as “notebook companions”: simpler, lighter devices that users take on the road to give faster, more convenient access to information. Interestingly, because the tablet is often the third device a person uses (in addition to a notebook and a mobile phone), many companies are not paying for them, leaving the user to pay themselves.

Longer term, media tablets are expected to become a family purchase as well. Presence in the home is expected to grow rapidly for uses such as playing games, watching video content, reading books and magazines, surfing the web, updating your status on your social network.

14.11.2010    Tags: , , ,
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