Media Tablet Sales Worldwide Expected to Jump 181 Percent in 2011

Researcher Gartner figures media tablet sales globally to end users will spike from 19.5 million units this year to 54.8 million units in 2011 and more than 208 million units in 2014. Points to Apple’s iPad as prime mover in segment.

October 19, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Global media tablet sales will spike to 54.8 million units in 2011, a 181 percent jump from this year’s expected sales of 19.5 million units, and explode to 208 million units by 2014, according to figures compiled by researcher Gartner Inc.

Gartner said that it expects Apple Computer Inc.’s iPad to lead the tablet charge in the next four years.

The researcher said that users who previously purchased mini-notebooks and a variety of consumer devices will turn in huge numbers to media tablets, particularly as prices fall.

“The all-in-one nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalization of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media players,” said Carolina Milanesi, Gartner research vice president.

“Mini notebooks will suffer from the strongest cannibalization threat as media tablet average selling prices drop below $300 over the next 2 years,” Milanesi said.

Gartner said it does not expect tablets to grab sales of low-end consumer notebooks and low end smart phones. However, it figures that users buying 7-inch tablets will opt to purchase lower priced smart phones at smaller form factors, which could ebb sales of high end smart phones.

“Communication service providers (CSPs) who have so far subsidized mini-notebooks to drive mobile broadband uptake will shift their marketing spend to media tablets,” Milanesi said.

“Such subsidies will help drive adoption among those consumers who see the initial hardware cost as a hurdle,” she said.

“For the rest, the freedom of paying for cellular only if and when needed, and not having to add another contract to the one a user might already have on his or her phone, is a great advantage and has so far proved successful for Apple,” Milanesi said.

Worldwide sales of media tablets to end users are projected to reach 103.4 million units in 2012, running up to 154.1 million units in 2013, Gartner said.

Sales in North America will account for 61 percent of units sold worldwide in 2010, dropping to a 43 percent share by 2014, the researcher said.

TAGS: iPad,tablet,Gartner

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