Tablets Taking Over, Analyst Says

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News Posted: Tue, Apr 24 2012 3:23 PM
Lots of people believe that tablets will replace desktop and laptop computers in the not-so-distant future; count Frank Gillett of Forrester Research as one. But his vote counts for a little more because his job is to forecast tech trends.

In a blog post, he ticks off the many advantages of tablets: they’re small and light (but not too small), have excellent battery life, have swift always-on capabilities, are ideal for casual sharing in meetings, have delightful delivery systems for consuming content, and in some instances can be used for meaningful content creation.

Because of the above, he predicts that tablets will become the preferred computing device for millions of people. He does note that Forrester maintains that 2 billion PCs will still be in use by 2016, so tablets won’t destroy the PC market; still, tablet sales will cannibalize laptop sales while actually boosting desktop sales, as plenty of people will still need the juice of a bigger machine for work (and play).

ASUS Transformer Pad 300

That said, he sees tablet sales rising from 50 million in 2011 to 375 million in 2016, leaving a total installed base of over a quarter billion tablets, with businesses and emerging markets driving sales.

It’s hard to disagree with Gillett’s assessment; as we’ve seen with devices such as the iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy series, and others, tablets are getting powerful. We’re seeing quad-core processors, HD cameras, 4G LTE performance, and other delicious capabilities. At the same time, prices are dropping--for example, the newly-released ASUS Transformer Pad 300 costs $100 less than its predecessor.

The low prices coupled with the increased capabilities are exciting for another reason: as the cost barrier to entry drops, many, many more people worldwide will be able to participate in the computing world, and that’s an exciting proposition.
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LBowen replied on Tue, Apr 24 2012 5:54 PM

Tablets continue to prove their usefulness. My girlfriend comes home and instead of hopping on the computer she will check her Facebook from her Kindle and then play Angry Birds. It really is about finding the best tool to access the content you use the most.

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boiker replied on Thu, Apr 26 2012 1:01 PM

LBowen, you're right.  tablets are becoming media and social consumption devices.  They easily connect us socially and engage us with our media.  Desktops and Laptops will still have a place for content creation, hardcore gaming, and academics, but the tablet will dominate the casual email, social, and media markets.

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ZTimpson replied on Thu, Apr 26 2012 11:28 PM

The tablets are definately going and are boosting the desktop sales, and lower the laptop sales. I think that once the tablets get to where they can surf the web just as well as the laptops and downlaods are just as easy, the tablets will dominate the market!

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