Research firm NPD DisplaySearch said the notebook market will tip over in 2016, when tablet sales will fly past notebook numbers. Notebook PC shipments will climb to 393 million worldwide by 2017 from 208 million units in 2012, with tablet PC shipments expected to grow to 416 million over the same period from 121 million units. Tablet PC growth will be greatest in mature markets, including North America, Japan and Western Europe; together these will account for 66 per cent of shipments in 2012 and 60 per cent through to 2016.
“Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” Richard Shim, a senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, said in a release. “While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption. New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.”
The firm also suggested that, as tablets become more powerful—adding multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, bigger app libraries and higher resolution displays—they will become more compelling alternatives to notebook PCs.
Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet market share
Smartphones and tablets are killing other devices