Tablet Computer Sales Expected to Soar on Wings of iPad Success
The success of Apple's iPad has made consumers keen for tablet computers in general, and worldwide shipments of these devices will jump six times by 2014, according to recent analyst reports.
In a survey of nearly 13,000 consumers in 14 countries, 51 percent familiar with e-readers or tablet computers said they planned to purchase one within a year, while 73 percent said they planned to buy such a product within three years.
"The survey suggests that e-readers and tablets are not a niche product for early adopters but could become the MP3 players of this decade. Grandmothers will soon be carrying them around," said John Rose of The Boston Consulting Group, which conducted the survey, in a statement.
The survey's findings jibe with IDC's prediction that shipments of portable personal computers will spike from 7.6 million this year to 46 million by 2014.
The market will grow as many other major computer and technology companies, including Dell , Sony, Samsung, and Google, have expressed interest in coming out with their own tablet computers in the near future.
However, two big players in this field – HP and Microsoft – recently shelved their post-iPad bids for a share of the tablet marketplace.
Dollars down, sales up
Apple, for its part, sold one million iPads just in the first month of its release through early May.
Key to tablets such as the iPad continuing to go gangbusters will be an anticipated drop in their retail price. The iPad presently goes for $499 on up to $829 for the deluxe version with the most memory capacity and 3G wireless service.
"As with other major mass market consumer devices the prices will come down," Rose told AFP. "They always do . . . I expect you'll see the prices come down in the next 12 to 18 months. The first iPod was a $400 device so there's no reason why we won't see the same cycle."