Tablets to outship notebooks by 2016, NPD says
The tablet and notebook markets appear to be moving in opposite directions. While the new kid on the block, the tablet computer, is picking up steam around the world, notebook shipments are starting to level off. As a result, research group NPD Displaysearch says tablets will outship notebooks by 2016.
The research firm predicts tablet computer shipments will grow from 121 million units in 2012 to 416 million units in 2017. At the same time, notebook shipments will increase from 208 million units to 393 million units.
NPD Displaysearch cites the maturation of the tablet market as the main driver for this accelerated growth, noting that expansion will be seen in both developed and maturing markets alike.
However, not everyone is confident in the tablet's sustained growth, as it's believed the functionality of the device will need to expand in order to keep its momentum. As of yet, the tablet has proven to be more of a media consumption device, while traditional PCs are seen as useful tools for both consumption and creation.
For the tablet to thrive, some say, it must continue to evolve. Though undeniably convenient for checking email or reading the news on the go, the tablet's utility for content creation has not yet been fully explored -- a point that industry players will likely need to address in the coming years.