Tablets surpass netbook shipments for first time, report shows
With more than 13 million units shipped, tablet computer sales eclipsed those of netbook PCs for the first time ever in the second quarter of 2011, according to data from market intelligence ABI Research.
Netbook shipments, in contrast, reached 7.3 million units, down from 8.4 million in the first quarter. ABI Research notes that this trend has been developing for the past few years, and it doesn't expect netbooks to ever reclaim their lead.
"As they are different segments, this is not a direct replacement behavior, but a changing of leadership for the most interesting device type," says Jeff Orr, group director of mobile devices at ABI Research.
By the end of 2011, ABI Research anticipates tablet shipments will nearly double those of netbooks, with sales reaching 60 million and 32 million, respectively. Consumers, ABI Research asserts, are drawn by the tablet's easy-to-use interface and its capacity to allow users to "re-engage with internet access."
While tablets have overtaken netbook shipments, sales in the overall PC market still far outweigh those of tablets. Though growth has slowed in recent years, Gartner anticipates 2011 PC shipments will total 364 million units.