Tablets to outsell netbooks by 2012, report says

Summary:Tablets will begin to outsell netbooks in 2012, and by 2014, more consumers will use tablets than use netbooks, according to a new report.

Tablets will begin to outsell netbooks in 2012, and by 2014, more consumers will use tablets than use netbooks, according to a new report.

According to a Forrester Research report released on Thursday, tablets are predicted to constitute 23 percent of PC unit sales in 2015.

"Tablet growth will come at the expense of netbooks, which have a similar grab-and-go media consumption and Web browsing use case as tablets but don't synchronize data across services like the iPad does," analyst Sarah Rotman Epps said in a statement.

More interesting takeaways from the report:

  • Consumers "didn't ask" for tablets. Apple is successfully teaching consumers to want the iPad.
  • Nearly half a billion PCs will be sold to consumers in the U.S. between now and 2015.
  • Over the next five years, PC unit sales across all form factors — desktops, notebooks and laptops, tablets, and netbooks — will increase by 52 percent.
  • Tablet sales in the U.S. will go from 3.5 million units in 2010 to 20.4 million units in 2015.

Desktop sales are predicted to slide over the next five years, from 18.7 million units sold in 2010 to 15.7 units in 2015, according to the report.

By 2015, Forrester forecasts a U.S. PC market that looks like this:

  • Notebooks, 42 percent
  • Tablets, 23 percent
  • Desktops, 18 percent
  • Netbooks, 17 percent

The big shocker, in my opinion: netbooks and desktops will still constitute, in total, more than a third of the total market.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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