World will stay hungry for tablet PCs
Strong demand driven by higher res displays
The Western world will continue to lead demand for tablets over the next six years, with growth driven by ever higher screen resolutions.
Market watcher NPD DisplaySearch said today it expects tablet shipments to jump from 72.7m in 2011 to 119.60m this year before reaching 220.45m in 2014 and 328.32m in 2016.
During that time, shipments into the developed world will remain higher than those to emerging markets, despite the much greater size of the latter and falling prices driven by greater competition and cheaper screens, the result of display makers shifting production to factories punching out larger, generation 6 and generation 8 base panels.
Source: NPD DisplaySearch
Over here in the West, growth will be spurred by the evolution of tablets screens. This year, DisplaySearch's forecast shows, more than half of the tablets that ship will do so with a screen with a pixel density of 150 pixels per inch or greater.
That share will grow further through to 2015 before beginning to level off through 2016 and 2017, according to DisplaySearch's forecast data.
Source: NPD DisplaySearch
As a baseline, the 9.7in iPad 2 has a pixel density of 132ppi. If the iPad 3 does indeed sport a 9.7in, 2048 x 1536 display, it will have a pixel density of 264ppi. Displays with a density of 250ppi or above will have carved out more than a third of the tablet market by 2013. ®
Higher resolution? Real growth would be driven by increased supply of 4:3 panels
What the world is really waiting for is an increased supply of 4:3 panels and the existing resolution will do just fine thanks. Asus have admitted privately that they won't ship a tablet in the same format as the iPad because Apple is using most of the available supply of 4:3 panels. Viewsonic do have the VIewpad 10e, but that's because they make their own panels. Unfortunately they have aimed the 10e at the bottom of the market, either because they are afraid of lawsuits from Apple, or because they have misread where the demand lies.
I can't see higher resolution screens driving much growth (although there will be growth anyway), I suspect most of the initial buyers will be people who already own an iPad 2 and further sales will be to people who buy for reasons other than the screen resolution. How about a tablet aimed specifically at digital camera owners with a full size SD slot and that could double as a digital photo frame - now that really would grow the market.
pixel density surely only half the problem?
I assume that all these devices are touch-screen displays. It's all well and good producing higher res screens, but there's a limit to how useful the screens are if we're stuck with addressing them with ever-pudgier fingers (relatively speaking). Should parents-to-be plan on reviving the ancient art of bonsai digitry in the next five years?
(icon illustrative of problem)
During that time...
... we will not know what to do with our old tablets and similar devices.
Someone better tell Acer, Asus, Samsung, etc
The shelves are bare.
I hope the message gets through & maybe these guys will sort out their schizophrenic attitude between Microsoft and Android.
Tablets vs Tablet PCs
"Tablet PC" is a named specification created by Microsoft way back in 2001. It was, and continues to be, received with little to no applause (justly, IMHO).
Current tablets do not in any way meet that specification, even though they do in some ways exceed it.