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Tablet market will be bigger than PC market?

During the Apple earnings call on Tuesday, after posting record sales of the iPad, Apple's CEO made the comment to an analyst that he thought the "tablet market" would be larger than the PC market.

We thought, Gene, from the beginning of this, that it would be a huge market, and it has been even greater than we thought and we’ve now sold 40 million on a cumulative basis, and it’s pretty clear to me that if you forecast out in time that the tablet market, I still believe it will be larger than the PC market. That’s not a guidance number. That’s just something that I very much believe.

Tim Cook - Apple CEO

Just a few days before this, I was sent a recent UK study by UM London, that goes some way to support this notion, but not quite fully.

The research “Tablet inTouch” which covered five thousand UK consumers, found those who owned the devices were almost evangelical about their benefits, with more than a third of owners saying their tablet computer has changed their lives.

While tablet and e-reader technology is changing the lives of their owners, the majority of UK consumers remain to be convinced of their benefits. UM found only 18% of consumers in the UK now own a tablet or e-reader, with Apple and Amazon dominating the markets.

You can download the full study here, but I'll paste a detailed summary below.

The figures speak for themselves, and mirror the initial scepticism about the usage of tablets, especially the iPad. I can only presume the majority are iPad users as the iPad dominates the market.

Those that have a tablet (iPad?) have discovered the niche where device supplements and enhances their lifestyle and are evangelical about the device.

Those that don't have a tablet or can't envisage where they might use one, can't see why they need one, or understand the potential benefits.

I don't think Apple will have a hard sell to the second group of people in the near future. Tablet usage will increase over time as they become even more mainstream, becoming an even more viable alternative to a traditional PC.

Consider the next iteration of the iPad, probably available in six to eight months time.

  • Quad Core A6 Chip - TechRadar
  • Double Resolution Retina Display - AppleInsider
  • Siri - Artificial Intelligent (2nd Gen with full International Support) - TUAW
  • Vastly improved camera and optics
  • Plus whatever other surprises Apple have in development

If the current iPad can replace a good percentage of people's computing needs, the next generation will take it to the next level, especially if new adopters of the tablet platform continue to evangelise at the current levels.

I think Tim Cook is right.

It's just a matter of time!

The extract below republished with permission

How tablet computers are changing the UK’s digital diet

LOGOA major study of how people who have purchased tablet computers and e-readers are using their devices and the attitudes of those who have not by Media Communications agency UM London, has revealed the impact tablet computers have had on the behaviour of UK consumers and casts light on the opportunities and challenges for brands.

The research “Will Tablet Computers Change Our Lives?” which covered five thousand UK consumers found those who owned the devices were almost evangelical about their benefits:

  • More than a third of owners say their tablet computer has changed their lives
  • 43% of tablet owners find them “addictive”
  • More than 60% of tablet owners use their device daily and some are virtually inseparable from their tablet with 27% even using the device in the lavatory
  • 86% of e-reader owners and 70% of tablet owners are “extremely satisfied” with them
  • 65% say tablets are more useful than laptops

While tablet and e-reader technology is changing the lives of their owners the majority of UK consumers remain to be convinced of their benefits. UM found:

  • 18% of consumers in the UK now own a tablet or e-reader (*see below for brands covered)
  • ownership of e-readers 12% (5.9m GB Adults) is ahead of tablet computers 8% (3.9m GB Adults) (3% own both), but overall 82% of the population have still to buy either a tablet or an e-reader
  • 64% of those who don’t, have no intention to purchase either
  • 23% of those who don’t intend to get a tablet device are deterred by the price, but more- 38%- don’t understand the benefit of owning one
  • 23% said they did intend to buy a tablet computer (9.4m GB Adults); 19% an e-reader (7.9m GB Adults)
  • But only 3% plan to do so in the next 2 months
  • Apple and Amazon dominate the tablet and e-reader markets

UM London’s study clearly shows that tablet computers are used primarily for play not work, but owners are using their devices regularly for a diverse range of activities:

  • 41% of tablet owners think of their device as a “toy” but just 17% of e-reader users do so
  • Tablets are being used for practical purposes: 32% said they’d shop more online with their tablet and 55% say they spend more time online as a result of owning one
  • Games, downloaded by 50% of owners, are the most popular tablet apps
  • 43% suggest tablets have improved their quality of life saying they are less bored now High levels of usage across a range of activities show tablets to be true multi-purpose devices
  • For around 85% of tablet and e-reader users, the home is the primary place where they use them

Original Study - UM London

References (1)

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    Response: forex
    Tablet market will be bigger than PC market? - My Blog - The Mac Screencast Guy

Reader Comments (5)

Yeah i feel that the tablets are getting more popular and the size is growing.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Johnson

I believe the days of the keyboard are number, with touch screens, stylus & voice (ie. siri) the way to go. I want a full strength tablet, such as a touch screen Macbook, which has the usual USB & SD card slots etc. It would be easy enough to have a blue tooth keyboard and some sort of cradle (or even larger peripheral monitor to use at my desk.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertimbodj

I also agree that Tablet PC market is getting bigger than PC market. I use the Tablet as I think it is easy to be taken while travelling out.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

I don't think that the tablet market will ever out do the pc market. Not everyone likes to have their keyboard on the screen. Plus unless they're going to start making tablets that are the size of bread racks, I don't think that they'll be very good for businesses to use. On the other hand, if they made tablets large like that, and made it possible to plug in normal peripheral devices like keyboards, mice, external monitors, and back up hard drives, and just set it in a picture frame rack, then you might have something there. However it seems that I'm on the smaller end of of the spectrum. Maybe I shouldn't rock the boat.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBranden deBuhr

I am extremely curious about your findings, and notably regarding the peripherals and apps you utilize along the means. For starters, i used to be not aware that Quickoffice integrated with Dropbox. I even have simply bought a 3G Galaxy Tab eight.9 therefore am searching for new additions to assist my productivity and replicate desktop functionality.

January 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervettivong

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