A new report from Futuresource Consulting says tablet sales are expected to increase by 200 percent over the next two years and tablet apps will account for 20 percent of mobile apps by 2016.
Global tablet sales exceeded 64 million
units in 2011 and are on track to soar to 232 million units in 2016, according
to the latest Tablet Technology and Markets report from Futuresource
Futuresource said tablet ownership in
the consumer market will increase by 200 percent across the United States and
Western Europe over the next two years. The two regions reached an installed
base of nearly 52 million tablets in 2011, with the market on track to exceed
153 million units in 2013. Ownership will be highest in the United States, with
Western European markets showing significant opportunities for growth.
The report notes that tablets have
cannibalized the demand for netbooks, but consumers still see the tablet device
as an addition to conventional PCs or Macs rather than a replacement. As a
result, consumer tablet sales dominated the overall tablet market in 2011,
accounting for more than 90 percent of tablet shipments.
In addition, tablets are a significant
force in the growth of the app market, accounting for 10 percent of total
mobile app downloads in 2011, Futuresource said. And as the tablet continues to
become a more attractive platform for developers, Futuresource said it expects
tablet apps to account for nearly 20 percent of total mobile app downloads in
More importantly, says Futuresource,
tablet owners are more likely to pay for apps, particularly within the United
States. This tidbit comes from a new consumer research report in the "Living
with Digital" series from Futuresource.
The Futuresource report also indicates
that tablet owners tend to be savvy media users, which presents a lucrative
opportunity for content owners to develop major added-value services to
complement existing offers. Yet, it is unlikely that tablets will displace
large screen TV sets, though tablets will drive full-length online video
growth, with key applications allowing content to be played out from one screen
to another, providing users with high-quality mobile viewing.
The report also notes that although
Apple has maintained its dominance in the tablet space since the launch of the
first iPad, Android-powered devices from Samsung, Amazon and Asus have begun to
gain traction and increase in popularity. Indeed, a notable rise in market share
is anticipated from other brands as more advanced devices are launched and
content platforms develop, providing the option to move content across multiple
devices, the report said.
Tablets have also revolutionized the
world of news publishing, with the majority of publishers now selling digital
editions, and together with dedicated e-readers such as Amazon's Kindle, these
devices have triggered a shift away from printed books to ebooks, the
Futuresource report said. Annual trade for digital book sales is forecast to
achieve significant growth, with digital downloads in the United States
expected to account for almost 70 percent of book sales by 2016, a substantial
rise from 20 percent in 2011. Similar progression is expected in the U.K., with
digital sales reaching almost 40 percent.