For the first time, tablet shipments in North America are expected to be higher than laptop shipments. This is according to Richard Shim of NPD DisplaySearch, who predicts that the tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of this year will reach 21.5 million units. On the other hand, there will be only around 14.6 million units of laptops that will be shipped during said quarter.
The trend is due to the release of an increasing number of tablets with wallet-friendly prices, such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire 7, both of which are priced at $199. Adding to this is the growing number of choices in terms of tablet sizes. Since the 9.7-inch Apple iPad was introduced in 2010, electronics manufacturers have come up with tablets which have displays that span 7 inches, 7.9 inches, 8.9 inches, 10.1 inches, and 10.6 inches. Consumers also currently have different operating systems to choose from to suit their needs, including Android, iOS, and Windows 8.
According to Shim, the recent Black Friday deals as well as the upcoming holiday season, will further increase the high demand for slates.
By the year 2013, NPD DisplaySearch furthermore forecasts that the trend will continue. Overall, there is expected to be 80 million tablets shipped next year, versus a total of 63.8 million notebooks.
Apple alone has already sold more than 100 million units of the iPad since 2010. Next year, the company may even be able to sell 100 million units in just one year.
Meanwhile, shipments of Android-based tablets are also on the rise, and should rise further in 2013.
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is likewise proving to be a popular device. Last month, the Mountain View company reportedly sold almost a million units of the tablet. The sales will likely rise during the holiday shopping season especially since Google has increased the tablet’s storage capacity, and introduced support for 3G connectivity.