Third-party apps for content and services to drive the demand for media tablets
Global media tablet shipments are expected to grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.4%, according to a new forecast from market research firm IDC.
IDC said that the market for media tablets, fostered by the launch of Apple’s iPad, will be driven by the device’s attributes as a content consumption platform and applications and services that will be created to take advantage of them.
IDC defines media tablets as tablet form factor devices with 7-12-inch colour displays and are currently based on ARM processors and run lightweight operating systems such as Apple’s iPhone OS and Google’s Android OS. This distinguishes them from tablet PCs, which are based on x86 processors and run full PC operating systems. The firm expects 398 million portable PCs to be shipped in 2014.
Susan Kevorkian, program director for Digital Marketplace: Mobile Media & Entertainment, said: “These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable PCs. IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be strongly driven by the number and variety of compatible third-party apps for content and services.
“The availability of apps unique to media tablets and that differentiate the experience of using one compared with a PC or smartphone will be crucial for driving consumer demand. As the category matures and more media tablet-optimised apps become available, IDC expects that media tablets will evolve beyond nice-to-have devices and become necessities for many consumers.”