Global tablet PC shipments predicted to hit 455 million by 2017

Falling prices are expected to boost tablet PC adoption, but notebooks and ultraslim PCs are expected to rise in price.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

Analysts love gazing into their crystal balls and coming up with far flung predictions about the tech landscape. The latest prediction from NPD DisplaySearch suggests that tablet PC shipments will skyrocket to 455 million by 2017.

The demand, according to a new report by NPD DisplaySearch, is predictably price. Worldwide tablet PC average selling prices are forecast to fall from $311 in 2014 to $296 in 2017, which will in turn boost adoption.

Global shipments of tablet PCs in 2014 is expected to be 315 million units, making up more than 65 percent of the market. By 2017 tablet PC shipments will, according to the report, climb to 455 million units, accounting for nearly 75 percent of the mobile PC market.

"Momentum for the tablet PC market is in full swing as they have become the dominant mobile PC form factor," said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch.  "Competition is expected to increase as traditional notebook PC brands, including Lenovo, HP, and Dell update their product portfolios to emphasize tablet PCs. Increased competition will mean more attention on, and development of, various segments of the market, which will ultimately lead to greater choice and devices that better fit the needs of consumers."

Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast by Application
(Source: NPD DisplaySearch)

Following weaker than expected shipment demand from the back-to-school and holiday seasons in 2013, notebook PC OEMs have slashed their shipment estimates for 2014, with an expected year-over-year fall of nearly 7 percent. Also, touch panel integration in notebook PCs has not increased demand as much as previously expected.

The overall result is weaker than expected demand for standard notebook PCs and ultra-slim PCs. Standard notebook PC shipments will decline from 155 million units in 2013 to 105 million units in 2017. Ultra-slim PC shipments will rise from 26 million units in 2013 to 57 million units is 2017.

This, in turn, is driving up prices.

Standard notebook PC prices are expected to rise from $667 in 2013 to $693 in 2014 while ultra-slim PC prices are expected to rise from $885 to $936 in 2014. The report claims that features such as new designs and higher resolution displays will be used to justify higher selling prices.

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