A new report from market research firm NPD predicts a rosy future for tablets and touch-enabled PCs. The firm believes tablets will likely outsell traditional laptops this year, and by 2017 manufacturers will likely ship three times as many tablets as laptops.
InformationWeek's Eric Zeman reported, "Sales of mobile PCs will continue to grow over the next four years, but only because professionals and consumers alike are turning to tablets and touch-based computers. According to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch, sales of mobile PCs -- tablets, touch-based notebooks and traditional notebooks -- will double from 367.6 million units shipped this year to 762.7 million globally by 2017. Tablets, however, will lead the way.... By 2017, tablets will outsell notebooks three to one, with shipments of 579 million tablets compared to 183 million notebooks."
VentureBeat's John Koetsier explained, "NPD’s latest report suggests that tablet shipments will grow 67 percent this year to 256.5 million and will reach a massive 579.4 million in 2017. In contrast, laptop or notebook PCs will decline 10 percent over the same period, dropping from 203.3 million to 183.3 million."
Computerworld's Matt Hamblen noted, "One bright spot for laptops -- those with touchscreen capabilities -- will see shipments grow by 48% in 2014."
CNET quoted NPD's Richard Shim, who said, "The mobile PC industry is undergoing significant change this year. The rapid rise and establishment of white box tablet PCs (tablets made by small local brands, mainly in China) is putting pressure on traditional notebook PCs. These low-cost tablets are reaching further into emerging regions where notebook PC penetration rates have remained low, resulting in cannibalization by tablet PCs."