Tablet Sales to Grow 5.3X by 2017, per NPD

Posted by at 12:38 pm on January 30, 2012

NPD researchers on Monday took a gamble with a belief that tablet demand would explode over the next five years. It saw the category swelling from 72.7 million in 2011 by about 5.3 times to reach 383.3 million in 2017. Almost half of those, 46 percent, would go to developing countries as prices came down.

The key would be to get new processors that allowed devices under $100, according to researchers. Some tablets already exist at the price point, but developments from Marvell and other companies could allow for tablets at that cost which still have reasonable performance and design quality. Tablets could be segmented into “premium” and “value” models, where full-power devices like the iPad and Galaxy Tab line were separated from the very cheap tablets, possibly including devices like the Kindle Fire.

Microsoft could play a role: about 36 percent considered a Windows option important for consideration during buying, although that so far hasn’t translated to real market share.

Sales as a whole would be helped by higher-resolution screens, where screens over 150 pixels per inch could become 70 percent of the market by 2017. Apple is expected to lead the charge on display resolution, although it could face competition from Samsung, Acer, and others.

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