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NPD: tablet numbers to nearly equal notebooks by 2017

updated 11:45 am EST, Wed January 4, 2012

NPD estimate calls for 383m tablets in 2017

Tablets will grow rapidly enough over the next five years to be nearly as important as notebooks, the NPD Group's DisplaySearch wing said in an unusually long-term estimate. Determining that tablets will have grown 256 percent this year where notebooks would be up just 12 percent, it predicted a quick enough pace that there would be 383.3 million tablets shipped in 2017. While notebooks would be up to 432 million in this view, they would no longer have the clear advantage.

Netbooks would be permanently stalled and likely keep shrinking, if slowly, for the rest of their lifetime.

Full-size notebooks would survive primarily based on ultrabooks, DisplaySearch said. It estimated about 175 million of them shipping in 2017 as prices eventually dropped down low enough to overcome hurdles. Fast startup and long battery life would tip the balance.

Tablets, meanwhile, would keep growing because of rapid development on every level. Along with faster processors and more desktop-like features, they would also get very high resolution displays that could make up a quarter of shipments in 2012 alone. The number will most likely be higher as the iPad is still poised to dominate tablets in 2012 while the Galaxy Tab 11.6 and others also push the limits of display technology.

As with most such predictions, any number of wildcards could affect long-term forecasts. Many had predicted that netbooks would keep growing and hadn't foreseen the iPad, which stopped netbook growth almost immediately and eventually began cutting into regular notebooks. Disillusionment with tablets or a lack of success for Windows ultrabooks could heavily skew the results.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is what I don't quite

    understand. Even though analysts are saying that tablet growth will be rather strong and Apple is the tablet leader, then why do they keep saying that Apple doesn't seem to have any potential growth? Doesn't Apple as the tablet leader have the best chance of staying on top of the tablet market? It's like analysts say one thing that works for other companies doesn't ever seem to work in Apple's favor. If Apple wanted to, they're in the best position to lower prices to practically break the backs of rivals. However, the analysts continue to say that all Apple products are going to be commoditized by companies selling really cheap devices even if their quality isn't all that good. That really doesn't make much sense to me. I remember when netbooks were really selling like crazy and all the analysts were saying as to how Apple would suffer the most because they didn't sell a cheap netbook computer. The Windows netbook was projected to be the strongest mobile platform for the next several years. The iPad was introduced and Windows netbook sales started to fade. Yet these analysts are now saying that Apple still won't be successful because of much cheaper tablets taking the iPads place. They're always saying that no matter how well Apple seems to be doing, it's going to fail in the long run. I don't know why they keep making that assumption. Apple can change like any other company and adjust to new things. Why do the analysts continue to claim that Apple is so vulnerable to everything despite sitting on a huge pile of cash and having so many loyal customers. I really don't get it.

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