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So our media tablet forecast is out. Have we been drinking the Kool-Aid???

by Carolina Milanesi  |  October 15, 2010  |  7 Comments

We released our media tablet forecast earlier in the week as part of our new connected consumer electronics coverage (Forecast: Connected Mobile Consumer Electronics, Worldwide, 2008-2014) and today we have sent out a press release on the forecast.

Some will look at our numbers and think that we are being way too optimistic, some will think we are right out crazy, mini-notebooks vendors will hope we are wrong and Verizon will grin knowing it has just secured the iPad.

Why are we being so optimistic about this market? Because media tablets are not mini-notebooks and they are certainly not Tablet PCs. If you think this market will be as small as the mini-notebook market you are looking at media tablets like younger siblings of a PC rather than older siblings of smartphones. Media tablets have much more in common with a smartphone than a PC. The usage model is closer to what consumers do with a smartphone while on the go than what they do on a PC when they are at their desk. It is about running applications, playing games, watching video content, reading books and magazines, surfing the web, updating your status on your social network of choice and checking email. If you can do all of this without having to take 5 minutes to boot up, without having to look for a power outlet after a couple of hours cause battery life is nice and long and with a user interface that allows you to easily get to what you need why would you not buy a media tablet??? Price might be an inhibitor in the early days but this will soon decrease as competition will get fiercer. The market will soon be flooded by a whole bunch of different models that will offer a variety of operating systems, feature sets, price points and screen sizes.

We believe that mobile operators will shift their marketing and subsidy from netbooks to media tablets in an attempt to sell more mobile broadband subscriptions. While we expect 7inch tablets to be popular in the short term due to the limitations of Android and because they are closer to smartphones we expect that in the long run 10inch tablets will be more successful as they offer a superior experience.

If you are still worried about the forecast think that in 2014 we forecast that close to 500 million phones with an ASP higher than $300 will be sold around the world. By then many tablets would have fallen considerably below that ASP.

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Carolina Milanesi
Research VP
10 years at Gartner
11 years IT industry

Carolina Milanesi is a Research VP in Gartner's Mobile Devices team and agenda manager for mobile devices. Ms. Milanesi leads the research for mobile devices worldwide and is responsible for the forecasting and market share effort in this area. Other areas of coverage are mobileā€¦Read Full Bio

Thoughts on So our media tablet forecast is out. Have we been drinking the Kool-Aid???

  1. Mike Mohr says:

    You are drinking the cool-aid.
    “playing games, watching video content, reading books and magazines, surfing the web, updating your status on your social network of choice and checking email. If you can do all of this without having to take 5 minutes to boot up”
    Hype, Hype… put your PC in suspend mode and you do not have to wait 5 minutes to boot. Doing all of that with tablet will kill your battery faster than you think.

  2. Steve Albert says:

    Carolina may have nailed it (again).

  3. Sam says:

    Un, Mike, guess you haven’t noticed that battery life is getting better every year. And flash drives–especially the ones like the new “embedded SSDs” that Sandisk just announced a couple of months ago–are far less of a drain on battery power than traditional storage options. Not to mention USB drives are becoming ubiquitous and incredibly cheap, seemingly cheaper by the month. Portable extra storage if you don’t want to be on the Net 24/7. You can’t carry your PC around with you, at least not as conveniently as a tablet will be. They will be cheap, powerful and ubiquitous, IMHO.

  4. Randy Chen says:

    Media table is device for mobile internet. PC is for desktop internet

  5. halimao says:

    Tablets are not PC and indeed in terms of usage is closer to a mobile phone. BUT you won’t (and can’t) put a tablet into your trousers!

    The issue with products that saddle between category is that it is always a compromise and therefore limited usage.

    Do you include Dell’s Inspiron Duo as a netbook or tablet? If you include hybrid products, maybe 150million in 2013 is attainable.

  6. I am totally in sync with what Carolina is saying. In fact, my prediction is that the Media Tablet PC shipments will equal that of the SmartPhone and far exceed the Notebook/NetBook PCs in 3-4 years. You can take that to the Bank.

    The issue with Notebook and Netbook has complicated the lives of the consumer and prosumer alike. With the inception of the new form factor devices and the ability of such devices to invade our lives in many respect and the ability of devices to expand many fold in the near future will force it to be the most ubiquitous device around all of us after the Cell Phone device.

    The key for all entrants into this segment would be how simple the usage of the device remains while bringing more functionality into the device while retaining the form factor simple.

  7. Plan-Net says:

    A legion of hybrid laptop/tablet devices are being thrown into the market, riding the wave of the trendy but not-so-business-friendly iPad whilst trying to overcome the tablet’s limitations in a bid to conquer a place in the corporate world. Will they represent the future of business mobile computing?

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