This figure is forecast to rise to 150.1 million units in calendar year 2015, with tablet-style devices dominating shipments. This equates to a CAGR of 60.4% across the period 2010–15.
Strong sales but not quite the computing revolution some are expecting
The bulk of growth in shipments for tablets and other mobile Internet devices will arise from a combination of two factors, in Ovum’s view.
The first is substitution of segments of the PC market – primarily notebooks, netbooks, and tablet-style devices based on PC software platforms for similar mobile and portable computers based on lite OSs such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS. However, we expect replacement of PCs to remain small in the forecast period and beyond.
The second factor is additional device sales on top of those for smartphones and PCs, either as “third devices” in high-penetration PC markets or as primary computing devices in low-penetration PC markets.
Nonetheless, the greater utility of smartphones for a majority of users means that shipments of the tablet and other lite OS devices will not dramatically erode the growing demand for smartphones. This is especially true given their obvious similarity in hardware and software technology.