The tablet PC market is growing globally with increasing consumer interest towards computing gadgets smaller than a laptop or desktop PC but bigger than a phone and providing efficient functionalities and portability. The arrival of tablets in the market has posed a tough competition for the big players of laptops and desktop PCs in the global market. Tablet shipments witnessed growth of 7.2% in 2014 over 2013. The increasing penetration and faster adoption of the tablets were attributed to special characteristics of tablet devices such as portability, lightweight and small size. Asia-Pacific region consolidated its position as the largest tablet market globally in terms of unit shipments in 2014. Activities such as texting, listening to music, social media, and mobile banking are mainly performed from smartphone devices. Whereas, users choose to execute activities such as web browsing, reading books, watching videos, reading and answering emails through tablets.
The global tablet PC market is driven by advances in 3D tablets, a designer based artistic freedom and increasing adoption of enterprise class tablets. The use of tablets is increasing compared to laptops and desktops as consumers are moving towards more portable devices. Consumer now-a-days look for personal computers that offers same or even advanced functions as offered by laptops and desktops in a portable design specification.
Various tablets are available to cater to different consumer segments, such as for kids, media and industry. The tablet vendors have also been manufacturing hybrid and convertible tablets, which have gained popularity in the tablet market among consumers of all classes. With the advent of Apple’s iPad in 2010, a new division of consumer device formed the commercial market for tablets. In 2014, Apple’s tablet was the most successful tablet worldwide; however, its market decreased over the year, and it is expected to decrease further during the forecasted period, attributed to the rising demands of android based tablet PC. Android based consumer tablet PCs are offered by different manufacturers including Samsung, Lenovo, ASUS and RCA; Samsung being the top manufacturer of Android tablets.
Many buyers of their first iPad, particularly iPad 2 or iPad 3, remain committed to their devices because there is no remarkable difference in features of new iPad and old iPad. Apple released the iPad 2 in March 2011 in the market, which remained the most popular iPad, even after recent releases of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 in October 2014. Most of the sales of new iPads had been to net-new buyers who did not already have an iPad. Major companies have recently reduced their near future production size of tablet PC products. The replacement cycle for tablet PCs is expected to lengthen beyond one to two year range as brands are less likely to develop more attractive usage scenarios.
The hybrid tablets combine the portability, ease of use of a tablet and the productivity features of a traditional PC (personal computer), which is driving the market drift towards hybrid tablets. The hybrid tablet appears to be a more viable option than traditional PC’s and laptops for the consumers. The tablet vendors are also focusing on hybrid tablet by releasing devices in this category. The Lenovo Inc. and ASUS together have more than 34 different models of hybrid tablets.
Tablet PCs are gaining popularity in the healthcare monitoring system owing to the simple explanation of diagnosis process and reduced paperwork handling, which would otherwise be time consuming. Moreover, government initiatives aimed at providing affordable tablets to students at schools and educational institutes are creating new opportunities for the Tablet PC market in the education sector. Companies such as DATAWIND, Micromax, HCL, Swipe Telecom and others are specifically focusing on designing affordable tablets for the education sector.
Some of the major competitors in the table PC market include Apple Inc., ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Lenovo Group Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, and Acer Inc.
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