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November 29, 2011

Tablet computer sales continue to soar: study

Purchases of touch-screen tablet computers are expected to increase 81% from 2010-2015

By CBR Staff Writer

Growth continues to surge in the touch-screen tablet market, with the devices having become a major force in the consumer market, says IC Insights.

In 2011, total personal computer units (including tablets) is expected to touch a figure of 414 million systems worldwide, an increase of 13% over 366 million in 2010. However PC unit shipments, without tablet computers, are expected to grow by only a little more than 1% in 2011 to 353 million systems compared to 349 million in 2010, according to the research firm.

Sales of touch-screen tablets are accelerating the overall growth in portable computers. These systems are also cutting into consumer purchases of standard keyboard-operated notebooks, especially netbooks.

Worldwide purchases of touch-screen tablet computers are expected to increase at a CAGR of 81% between 2010 and 2015, while standard notebook PCs (including netbooks) are forecast to grow an annual average rate of slightly more than 7% in this time period.

The sharp upswing in tablet sales is undercutting growth of standard PCs. The look and feel of tablets, along with slick marketing campaigns by Apple and competitors, has convinced a growing number of consumers to buy touch-screen systems instead of new standard notebooks. The firm’s research shows that keyboard computers are still needed by most PC users because they are better suited for certain tasks, such as typing longer documents or e-mails, working on spreadsheets, or creating new multimedia content.

IC Insights assumes that about one quarter of the 2011 tablets were bought by consumers instead of notebooks and that percent is expected to grow to about one third in next few years.

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