Competition among Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft has lowered price points on tablets and helped expand adoption, with 48 per cent of US broadband households owning at least one, according to Parks Associates. Tablet ownership increased by nearly 33 per cent in one year, with 22 per cent of households reporting a tablet purchase, while only 7 per cent purchased an e-reader in 2012, down from 9 per cent in 2011.
Growth will continue as OEMs release more tablets aimed at the high and low ends of the tablet market. “Amazon has expanded the low end of the tablet market with the Kindle Fire, whereas Microsoft is making a credible push at the higher end,” said Jennifer Kent, senior analyst, Parks Associates. “The software giant’s renewed focus on the success of the Surface Pro, after the disappointing traction of the more-limited Surface RT, will mean better options for consumers shopping for top-of-the-line tablets. Efforts by content providers such as Viacom, which offers apps and services to view its content on tablets, will also help drive wider tablet adoption by offering consumers more content options on mobile screens.”
Parks Associates notes the tablet’s success continues to threaten other CE categories such as e-readers and PCs. Tablet purchases surpassed desktop purchases for the first time in 2012 and will match or exceed laptop purchases in 2013.
“The tablet is taking market share from other devices with overlapping functionality, but its continued growth depends on manufacturers’ ability to continue to carve out a niche that differentiates the tablet from other form factors while also complementing them,” Kent said.