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July 21, 2010

Media tablet shipments to reach 11 million by 2010 end: ABI Research

Mass market size dependent upon Apple's distribution reach

By CBR Staff Writer

Marketing research firm ABI Research has revisited its media tablet market forecasts, almost tripling the original estimate to reach about 11 million tablets expected to ship by the end of 2010.

The market observer suggests that the media tablet segment is still far short of a mass market and that a market size justifying that term probably won’t be reached before 2013. It says that much depends on Apple’s distribution reach, which is still quite limited, and the relative success of its eventual competitors.

Jeff Orr, principal analyst at ABI Research, said: "Our forecast of 11 million media tablet shipments in 2010 is based both on the broader availability of the iPad and on the delayed introduction of competing products.

"Assuming that competing tablets from other vendors do arrive in the second half of the year as expected, we believe that the iPad will account for a significant portion – but not all – of the projected 11 million units."

"The buzz around tablets has implications for other parts of the consumer electronics market. In particular, the surge in interest in media tablets is impacting the MID (Mobile Internet Device) category.

"Most of the volume that we’ve projected for the MID category since 2007 is now being taken over by other device form factors: media tablets, but also smartphones, which are assuming more and more of the functionality that was envisioned for these ‘non-voice handsets’."

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