Tablet sales capture quarter of mobile market
Tablet computers accounted for slightly more than a quarter of the world's mobile PC shipments in 2011, with approximately 72.7 million units sold, according to a report from NPD DisplaySearch.
The research firm expects year-over-year tablet shipment growth in 2011 to exceed 250 percent, bolstered by strong showings during the third and fourth quarters. Going forward, DisplaySearch states, tablet growth will be driven by demand for powerful multi-core processors and "mature" operating systems.
Tablets and other mobile PCs are also expected to experience growth in developing countries around the world. According to the report, mobile PC shipments to emerging regions will reach 425.8 million by 2017, up from an estimated 138 million in 2011.
Notebooks have not fared as well in recent years. DisplaySearch states that 187.5 million notebook PCs shipped in 2011, lower than its previous estimate of 188 million. However, the upcoming Ultrabook™ may reverse this trend and breathe new life into the notebook market.
Research firm IHS iSuppli predicts the Ultrabook will account for 40 percent of all notebook sales by 2015. Likewise, DisplaySearch expects total Ultrabook sales to near 100 million by this time.