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Tablets may overtake netbooks by 2012, desktops by 2013

updated 11:20 am EDT, Thu June 17, 2010

iPad could push past netbooks in two years

Apple's iPad should help push tablet sales past netbooks in as little as two years, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps estimated today. She believes that, even with a conservative estimate of 3.5 million tablets sold this year, the category could grow to 20.4 million by 2012 and make up 18 percent of the market while netbooks would peak at 17 percent. A year later, tablets would overtake declining desktop sales, reaching 21 percent versus 20 percent.

The researcher expects that growth to slow, but by 2015 tablets could have as much as 23 percent of the field where desktops would have fallen to 18 percent and netbooks would have remained flat. Regular notebooks would dominate as mainstream computers with about 42 percent, but would shrink from about 44 percent this year as some opt for tablets instead.

Although the category is still new and could vary from the predictions, Rotman Epps is potentially conservative. Apple has already sold two million iPads in two months and is very likely to outpace the analyst's estimates just by itself. Most of those sales were to US customers and don't reflect the influence of international sales.

Other tablets should launch this year but will have relatively little impact; the ASUS Eee Pad and Android tablets from ICD and Notion Ink are supposed to ship later this year but aren't thought to have similar reach to the iPad.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    This sounds like great news for Apple...

    However, I wonder who all these people are that will be buying them. I wouldn't think it would be netbook users since they seem to insist that netbooks are so great with a real keyboard and all. I'm guessing it must be a whole new segment of the population or that consumers will be buying tablets along with other computing devices. There continues to be a number of iPad users who say are rather useless and wish they hadn't bought one. That's a really unusual thing to hear from any buyer of any product. I'm guessing that most buyers of tablets won't be power users. I can't possibly imagine that Windows desktop tablets will ever be popular to consumers.

    I'm not going to try to reason this out. Whichever consumers like the iPad will buy them despite their supposed shortcomings. I'm just glad that Apple has the jump on all the companies and it may give them the leverage to hold a fairly high market share before the cheap Android tablets start to sell. Tablets will continue to evolve so what we see today may pale to the next versions' capabilities.

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