Though still an emerging technology, tablet devices are set to be huge. So huge, in fact, that Forrester Research has just come out with pretty strong growth projections that put them ahead of netbooks by 2012 and ahead of desktops by 2013.
Sarah Rotman Epps of Forrester laid out projections today at the Untethered conference, where she compared tablet sales to netbooks, laptops, and desktops. She expects 3.5 million tablets — including the iPad and other tablets — to be sold this year, growing to 20.4 million in 2015. In addition, she expects desktop sales to drop from 18.7 million units in 2010 to 15.7 million units in 2015.
Looking at the percentage of overall PC sales, tablets will grow from 6 percent this year to 18 percent in 2012, when netbooks are estimated to account for 17 percent of sales. In 2013, tablet sales are projected to out pace desktop sales 21 percent to 20 percent, and by 2015, tablets will make up an impressive 23 percent of PC sales in the US. Only laptops will sell more in the US, with a 42 percent market share.
These are pretty strong projections, but given the immense popularity of the iPad and the plethora of Android-based and other tablets hitting the market in the near future, I’d have to fully agree with the optimistic outlook. It seems odd that tablets will soon make netbooks all but obsolete, but many had already projected that outcome from the beginning.