The global tablet PC shipments will rise to 315 million units this year, comprising more than 65 percent of the market and by 2017 tablet PC shipments will climb to 455 million units, encompassing nearly 75 percent of the mobile PC market, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report.
Falling prices and advances in displays will lead to higher shipment levels of tablet PCs which will increasingly replace notebook PC shipments for 2014 and beyond, the report noted.
Consumers will also have more options to choose from, as new technologies and features hit the market, including AMOLED and other display technologies, a greater variety of screen sizes, and higher resolutions.
Tablet PCs with screens smaller than 9 inches will comprise approximately two-thirds of overall shipments in 2014, and 7-inch screens are expected to garner the most tablet PC market share, exceeding 30 percent through 2017.
The shift towards smaller sizes continues to enable lower price points in emerging regions, such as Eastern Europe, China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa, which will account for more than 60 percent of worldwide shipments in 2014.
"Momentum for the tablet PC market is in full swing as they have become the dominant mobile PC form factor," Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, said in a statement. "Competition is expected to increase as traditional notebook PC brands, including Lenovo, HP and Dell update their product portfolios to emphasize tablet PCs. Increased competition will mean more attention on, and development of, various segments of the market, which will ultimately lead to greater choice and devices that better fit the needs of consumers."
Worldwide tablet PC average selling prices (ASPs) are expected to fall from $311 in 2014 to $296 in 2017, which is likely to help increase adoption, particularly in emerging regions where first-time PC buyer penetration rates are highest.
In fact, emerging regions will account for an increasing share of worldwide mobile PC shipments, growing from 57 percent, or 274 million units in 2014, to 62 percent, or 385 million units, by 2017.
Growth will be led by tablet PCs, which will account for 70 percent of mobile PC shipments into emerging regions in 2014. Nearly half of tablet PC shipments into emerging regions in 2014 will be devices retailing for less than $200, the report projected.
As tablet sales eat into the notebook PC market, standard notebook PC shipments are expected to decline from 155 million units in 2013 to 105 million units in 2017. However, ultra-slim PC shipments will rise from 26 million units in 2013 to 57 million units is 2017.
With penetration of less than 10 percent for 2013, touch-panel integration in notebook PCs has not increased demand as much as previously expected, and the result is weaker than expected demand for standard notebook PCs and ultra-slim PCs.