Tablets closing the gap on laptop market
Consumer demand for tablet computers will see unit shipments increase almost fourfold by 2016 according to business intelligence experts GBI Research.
Latest findings shows the tablet is substantially outpacing the growth of the laptop sector, with 73 million tablets shipped last year and sales expected to reach 275 million in four years.
By comparison however, GBI says notebook shipments reached 198 million in 2011 and are forecast to hit 318 million by 2016.
Products such as Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle series are taking the world by storm according to the report, "meeting the needs of casual computer users in smaller, easier to use and often cheaper devices."
"Laptop manufacturers are increasingly targeting business users who typically require more powerful systems with a wider range of applications," GBI's report says.
"Tablet purchases are also affecting the replacement cycles of laptops.
"When a consumer purchases a tablet they are more likely to wait before replacing an existing laptop, thereby reducing sales."
But despite the apparent dominance of the tablet industry, laptops are not giving up without a fight.
Thinner, lighter and potentially quicker Ultrabooks represent the future of the laptop market according to the report, and are expected to represent almost half of all sold by 2016.
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