Tablet marketing growing in shipments, diversity
The tablet computer market appears to be growing in all directions. Not only are shipments and sales reaching new levels, the number of different devices and operating systems on the market is rapidly increasing as well.
According to a May 2012 study from NPD DisplaySearch, a branch of market research firm the NPD Group, global tablet shipments are expected to reach 424.9 million units by 2017, up from 81.6 million in 2011. The research firm asserts that the diversity of the tablet market is instrumental in driving demand for the devices.
Tablets based on Apple's iOS® continue to lead the market, but NPD DisplaySearch estimates the market share for Android™ devices will increase from 22.5 percent in 2012 to 40.5 percent by 2017. Windows® 8 tablets, which will become available later this year, will also add to the competition, claiming a market share of 7.5 percent in 2017.
"[A]s 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 devices," says NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Shim.
The introduction of Windows 8 for tablets is likely to lead to one of the biggest shake-ups in the market thus far. Though relatively late to the game, Microsoft® is expected to have a significant impact, especially in the enterprise sector.