With iPad sales continuing to attract millions of new users, Android's Nexus 7 tablet finally bringing in some good Android tablet news and Microsoft preparing for Windows 8 it is expected that tablet sales growth will surpass notebooks by 2016.
Those expectations were revealed by market research firm NPD DisplaySearch. The company believes the mobile PC category will soar from 347 million units this year to more than 809 million mobile based devices being sold in 2017.
When breaking down the numbers tablets will increase from 121 mobile units in 2012 to 416 mobile units by 2017, compared to 208 million notebook shipments in 2012 to 393 million shipments in five years. If those numbers remain constant or increase tablets will surpass notebook shipments by the end of 2016.
The company believes that large portions of that growth will be attributed to North America, Japan and Western Europe where maturing markets already make up 66% of tablet shipments in 2012 while they are expected to account for 60% of the global market until 2017.
In a statement regarding the company's findings Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch noted:
“Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets. While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption.”
If Microsoft Windows 8 is a huge hit on tablet PCs and Apple and Google Android continue to reinvent the market those numbers could skyrocket.