Tablet Sales to Top $49 Billion by 2015, Analysts Predict

Apr 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Business and Finance

Sales of tablet computer devices like iPads will top $49 billion by 2015, predicts the market research firm Strategy Analytics in a new report. If this prediction holds, it will make tablets one of the best-selling consumer electronics items, just behind TVs and personal computers.

Demand for tablets is rising as consumers accustomed to smartphones are seeking touchscreen alternatives to traditional keyboards. Tablets combine the touchscreen feature of smartphones with the screen size and memory capability of laptop computers, positioning tablets between smartphones and laptops.

Demand is expected to increase the most in North America, Pacific Asia, and Western Europe. Prices in the Asia Pacific region will be less than 85 percent of prices in Western Europe within four years, and will add up to higher total value, experts predict.

As competition increases, prices will drop. However, Apple is pursuing an aggressive pricing strategy that will make it difficult for competitors to drop prices significantly and still turn a profit.

In the race to the top of the tablet market, Apple’s iPad line currently leads the pack, handling 84 percent of global tablet shipments last year and generating $9.6 billion in sales since the device premiered in April 2010. But alternative devices are flooding the market from major competitors, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Motorola, and Samsung. Analysts from the research firm Gartner expect that products based on Apple’s iOS software to continue to dominate the market for at least a couple years, but predict the iOS share of the market will decline from 69 percent this year to 47 percent by 2015.

Of course innovation can always throw a curveball into the mix. Touchscreens themselves will soon face rivalry from hands-free input devices. Input devices that can sense gestures and even brain waves are under development.

But for the moment, at least, this is the day of the tablet.

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