Expect 19.4 million units of the Apple iPad and other tablets to sell in 2010, according to a new Gartner research note, putting pressure on the market for devices such as mininotebooks.
Worldwide media tablet sales will reach 19.4 million units in 2010,
according to a new research note from Gartner. That's good news for manufacturers
such as Apple, maker of the iPad, which is driving much of that growth.
However, Gartner also said tablet sales
are having a negative impact
on sales of other mobile devices such as
e-readers and mininotebooks.
"The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the
cannibalization of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming
devices and media players," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said in an Oct. 15
statement. "Mininotebooks will suffer from the strongest
cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices (ASPs) drop below
$300 over the next two years."
But Gartner expects that low-end consumer notebooks and communication
devices based on an open-source operating system-in other words, Google
Android-will experience lower rates of cannibalization. The presence of 7-inch
tablet PCs could impact the higher-end smartphone market, the research note
added, although consumers "buying a 7-inch tablet might opt for a lower-priced
smartphone with a smaller form factor."
The research note predicted that tablet PC sales would increase from 19.4
million units in 2010 to 54.7 million in 2011, then 103.4 million in 2012, and
finally 208 million in 2014. About 61 percent of those sales in 2010 are
expected to come from the North American market, but Gartner expects that
percentage to dip to 43 percent by 2014.
"As media tablets move from early adopters to mainstream, media tablets
will become a family purchase as well as a personal one," Gartner said.
"The touch user interface, the applications available on the different
operating systems and the simpler setup compared to a full-fledged computer
make media tablets ideal for a range of consumers, from power users to
technophobics." Gartner also said it sees the cost of tablet PCs gradually
declining over the long term, as carrier subsidies for the devices increase.
"Communication service providers (CSPs) who have so far subsidized mininotebooks
to drive mobile broadband uptake will shift their marketing [spending] to media
tablets," Milanesi wrote. "Such subsidies will help drive adoption
among those consumers who see the initial hardware cost as a hurdle."
Other analysts have suggested that tablets are putting pressure on the
traditional notebook market, although many seem reluctant to use the term
"Sales of traditional notebooks appear to be feeling pressure from the
iPad, causing a scramble by vendors to launch iPad-like tablets," USB
analyst Maynard Um wrote in a Sept. 8 research note. "We believe that a
majority of this impact is occurring on the lower end of PC sales, as the iPad
is priced close enough to this range that it becomes attractive to consumers
looking to make purchases within this segment."
Um estimated sales of 28 million iPads in 2011, while Morgan Stanley analyst
Katy Huberty predicted the overall tablet market will hit 50 million units.
"We expect tablets to continue to pressure PCs as more vendors launch
products (e.g., Dell Streak and Samsung Tab) and Apple expands its iPad
distribution," Huberty wrote in a recent research note, as
quoted by Fortune Magazine Sept. 17.
A handful of manufacturers, including Samsung and Research In Motion, are
expected to introduce tablet PCs within the next few months. It is also widely
expected that Apple will unveil a revamped iPad at some point in the near