According to the latest report of the leading North American market research company, NPD, Apple iPad shipments are bound to out-sell laptop shipments by 2016. The firm believes that by 2017,PC shipments will reach 809 million units from the current 347 million units, laptop shipments will reach the figure of 293 million units from the current 208 million units while Tablet shipments will jump to 416 million from 121 million in 2012 showing a whopping annual growth of 28 per cent The Apple iPad remains in lead, and is expected to maintain its position in the future.
Richard Shim, NPD’s Senior Analyst, remarked that the services and infrastructure required to make a persuasive new model are better established in markets that are mature. He believes that consumers now prefer mobile computing device and new players in the market are placing their bets on mature markets of United States, Europe and Japan, where the demand for such goods is the highest.
The most recent entrant in the Tablet race is Google, which launched the Nexus 7 at Google I/O. The 7 inch tablet, priced at $199, runs on Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google’s Android OS. In a contrast to the anticipation that the Nexus 7 would compete toe to toe with the new Apple iPad, the current market leader with a 68% market share; it is the Amazon Kindle Fire which faces a challenge from Google’s latest offering.
The Kindle Fire, launched in November 2011, performed exceedingly well, leapfrogging over Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. But it was not able to maintain its momentum in Q1 2012, and Amazon’s market share fell from 17 per cent to just 4 per cent.
Another exciting entry in the tablet market is Microsoft’s Windows 8 powered Surface. Disregarding its hardware partners, Surface is entirely developed and built by Microsoft. According to experts, Microsoft aims to make Surface on the basis of what it has gleaned from Apple’s experience in the tablet market, and aims to directly compete with Apple.
NPD concluded from its report that tablets are going to become the ubiquitous alternatives for laptops. Manufactures will focus on features that propel the success of tablets such as Instant-on capabilities, portability, multiple cores, high resolution display, long battery life, expanding application market. This would also lead to modifications and development in laptops, with manufacturers making them lighter and more portable coupled with touch functionality and high resolution display, like Apple’s Retina display.