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NPD: Diversity To Add Tablet Growth

Santa Clara, Calif.
– Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to grow from 81.6 million units in 2011
to 424.9 million units by 2017, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch “


” report.

 The forecast for 2013 shipments was increased
from 168.9 million to 184.2 million. This forecast estimates that in 2016 more
tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs. A growing diversity of operating
systems is driving the increase in demand for tablets, as well as rapidly
evolving features. At the same time, the capacity of component manufacturing is
being increased to meet new market demand.

“So far in this
relatively young product category, the tablet PC market has been dominated by
Apple and has tended to include a number of competing products that are
similarly configured to the iPad,” said


, NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst. “However, as the market matures and
competitors become better attuned to consumer preferences and find
opportunities to break new ground, we expect the landscape to change
dramatically, giving consumers more choices, which will drive demand for more

The industry has
already witnessed some diversification in the market with the early success of
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, with its “razor/razor blade model” of low-priced device
predicated on content purchases. NPD DisplaySearch also expects increased
investments in the tablet supply chain — amid a lull in the growth of other
device categories — to lead to more opportunities for new technologies to
challenge incumbents.

NPD DisplaySearch
expects an increase in investments to boost shipment growth in mature markets
as retailers, brands and consumers experiment with emerging tablet

A key area where
there is room for differentiation is operating systems. NPD DisplaySearch
expects three operating systems to establish significant share in the market:
Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows RT, the company said.

The iOS operating
system has been dominant in tablet PCs, but it is expected to lose share, from
72.1 percent in 2012 to 50.9 percent in 2017, as Android increases from 22.5
percent 2012 to 40.5 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, share for Windows
RT is also expected to grow, but from a very small base of 1.5 percent in 2012
to 7.5 percent in 2017.

In terms of
component production, many display manufacturers are transitioning tablet panel
production to larger plants, including Gen 6 and Gen 8, which will lead to
greater capacity for tablet displays, as well as lower prices. In addition, the
share of AMOLED displays in tablets is forecast to increase from 3 percent in
2012 to 30 percent by 2017, NPD said.

DisplaySearch’s “


” report tracks quarterly changes in tablet PC products and
strategies, and forecasts the impact of those changes on the market. It covers
the changing landscape of screen sizes, features that are expected to be
included and excluded in future tablets, and operating systems.

Worldwide Tablet PC Emerging and Mature Market Shipment Forecast