Global Tablet PC Shipments to Reach 455 Million by 2017

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Falling prices and advances in display technology will lead to higher shipments of tablet PCs which will increasingly replace notebook PC shipments in 2014 and beyond.

According to NPD DisplaySearch, global tablet PC shipments will rise to 315 million in 2014, comprising more than 65% of the market. By 2017 tablet PC shipments will climb to 455 million, encompassing nearly 75% of the mobile PC market.

The worldwide tablet PC average selling price (ASP) is expected to fall from $311 in 2014 to $296 in 2017, which will help increase adoption, particularly in emerging regions where first-time PC buyer penetration rates are the highest. As new technologies and features hit the market, consumers will have more options to choose from, including AMOLED and other display technologies, a greater variety of screen sizes, and higher resolutions

"Momentum for the tablet PC market is in full swing as it has become the dominant mobile PC form factor," said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. "Competition is expected to increase as traditional notebook PC brands, including Lenovo, HP, and Dell update their product portfolios to emphasize tablet PCs. Increased competition will mean more attention on, and development of, various segments of the market, which will ultimately lead to greater choice and devices that better fit the needs of consumers."

Following weaker than expected shipment demand from the back-to-school and holiday seasons in 2013, notebook PC brands have reduced their shipment estimates for 2014, with an expected decline of nearly 7% Y/Y. Also, with penetration of less than 10% for 2013, touch panel integration in notebook PCs has not increased demand as much as expected. The result is weaker than expected demand for standard notebook PCs and ultra-slim PCs. Standard notebook PC shipments will decline from 155 million in 2013 to 105 million in 2017. Ultra-slim PC shipments will rise from 26 million in 2013 to 57 million in 2017.

The weak shipment forecast is forcing brands to re-evaluate their pricing strategies, and a rise in selling prices is expected. Features such as new designs and higher resolution displays will be used to justify higher selling prices. Standard notebook PC prices are expected to rise from $667 in 2013 to $693 in 2014, while ultra-slim PC prices are expected to rise from $885 to $936 in 2014.

In the tablet PC market, oxide, LTPS, AMOLED, and other emerging screen technologies, as well as 8.4", 10.5", and other new sizes, are expected to give brands increased flexibility to offer more differentiated products to consumers. At the same time, strong market trends continue to drive shipment growth. The shift towards smaller sizes continues to enable lower price points in emerging regions (i.e., Eastern Europe, China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa), which will account for more than 60% of worldwide shipments in 2014. Tablet PCs with screens smaller than 9" will comprise approximately two-thirds of overall shipments in 2014. The most tablet PC market share will go to 7" screens, exceeding 30% by 2017.

Emerging regions will account for an increasing share of worldwide mobile PC shipments, growing from 57%, or 274 million in 2014, to 62%, or 385 million, by 2017. Growth will be led by tablet PCs, which will account for 70% of mobile PC shipments to emerging regions in 2014. Nearly half of tablet PC shipments into emerging regions in 2014 will be devices retailing for less than $200.

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Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast by Application

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