As we gear up for CES this week and prepare for a plethora of tablet announcements, Forrester has published a report projecting that nearly one-third of all US consumers will own a tablet device by 2015, totaling roughly 82 million people.
The firm predicts tablet sales will grow from 10.3 million units in 2010 to 44 million in 2015, eclipsing laptop sales by roughly 5 million units in the process. Laptop sales will continue to grow, however, from 26.4 million in 2010 to 38.9 million in 2015, while desktop PC sales will decline from 20.5 million in 2010 to 18.2 million in 2015.
Not surprisingly, Forrester predicts a majority of tablets sold over the next few years will sport an Apple logo, but that competition will begin to heat up considerably in 2011. While these projections are impressive, they’re still conservative compared to other recent estimates.
eMarketer recently predicted that 81.3 million tablets will be sold in 2012 alone, up from 15.7 million this year, while Gartner estimates that 19.5 million tablets were purchased in 2010 — set to multiply to 54.8 million in 2011 and more than 208 million by 2014. Regardless of the projections, it’s no secret that tablet devices will become a primary means for consumers to access nearly all forms of digital content in the very near future. 2011 will undoubtedly be a breakout year for tablet computing.