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November 26, 2012

Tablets Will Outsell Notebooks for First Time

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

Black Friday (News - Alert)” (Nov. 23, 2012) is expected to be the catalyst for tablets to pass notebook shipments for the first time in North America, a trend which we expect to continue for the foreseeable future, says  NPD DisplaySearch.

NPD DisplaySearch’s fourth quarter North American tablet shipment forecast is 21.5 million units, far exceeding the 14.6 million notebooks and mini-notes that are expected to ship in the same period. 

Image via Shutterstock

Starting in 2013 in North America, tablet shipments are expected to exceed notebook shipments on an annual basis for the first time; 80 million tablets versus 63.8 million notebooks.

On a worldwide basis, tablet shipments aren’t expected to out-ship notebooks until 2015, when 275.9 million tablets are projected to ship, as compared to 270 million notebooks.

The tablet surge can be explained by several developments. More than 70 percent of U.S. households have PCs, so demand now is driven mostly by the replacement market. Tablets are early in their adoption cycle, by way of comparison.

At the same time, tablets simply are the “hot” new device category, arguably supplanting smartphones. Also, tablets are getting high levels of supplier “push.” Combine a “hot” device category with lots of marketing and promotion, and high sales can occur.

Approximately half of children six to 12 surveyed by Nielsen say they want a full-sized iPad  and 36 percent want an iPad Mini.

The iPod Touch and iPhone (News - Alert) are also coveted devices among these young consumers (36 percent and 33 percent, respectively).  

Kids are also likely to ask for dedicated gaming hardware for the Christmas and holiday season, with 39 percent wanting Nintendo’s Wii U.

About 29 percent say they want a portable DS. About a quarter say they want Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Xbox 360 and a similar percentage want a Sony PlayStation 3.

Among consumers aged 13 and older, tablets and full-sized computers were the top electronics products wanted for Christmas and the holidays.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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