Exponential tablet growth threat to netbook market

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Exponential tablet growth threat to netbook market

Alex Scroxton

The netbook market is under increasing threat of cannibalisation as the average selling price of a media tablet drops below the $300 (£186) mark, according to Gartner.

"The all-in-ine nature of media tablets will result in the cannibalisation of other consumer electronics devices such as e-readers, gaming devices and media players," said research vice president Carolina Milanesi.

"Communication providers who have so far subsidised mini-notebooks to drive mobile broadband uptake will shift their marketing spend to media tablets," she continued.

"Such subsidies will help drive adoption among consumers who see the initial hardware cost as a hurdle."

In the enterprise market Gartner now believes that the tablet's main function will be as a notebook companion, or a secondary device for use on the road to quickly access email, calendars, PowerPoint and so on.

Analysts predict that as most businesses will not fork out for a third device to sit alongside the smartphone and notebook, the immediate potential lies in the consumer sector, and its route into the enterprise will ultimately be via workers who are prepared to hand over their own money for a tablet device.

Gartner analysts have forecast sales of media tablets will grow over 180% through 2011, with 54.8 million units expected to be shipped next year, up from 19.5 million this year.

The global market is expected to suprass 208 million units by 2014.

In the enterprise market Gartner now believes that the tablet's main function in the immediate future will be as a notebook companion, or a secondary device for use on the road


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