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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