Sub-$400 tablets poised for huge growth
While Apple's near-$500 iPad® has all but dominated the market since early 2010, a March 2012 study from ABI Research suggests that tablet computers with more affordable price tags will become more competitive in the coming years.
According to the report, sub-$400 tablet computers will account for more than 60 percent of the market by 2016, while the market share for the iPad and other $400-plus tablets is expected to dip.
ABI Research notes that users are also gravitating toward smaller devices. Whereas tablet computers measuring more than 9 inches currently account for more than three-fourths of the market, devices with displays in the 7- to 9-inch range will see significant growth going forward.
A separate study from NPD In-Stat also predicts a bright future for mid-sized tablets, noting that these devices made huge strides in 2011 that are expected to continue for years to come. Smaller tablets, however, are more questionable. NPD In-Stat expects these devices to wane, with only 15.6 million units projected to ship in 2016.