The emergence of cloud services, explosive growth of smartphones and wireless connectivity has driven demand for ubiquitous access to data anywhere, anytime. These trends, along with the growth of mobile content, have created an ideal environment for the introduction of the mobile media tablet, a consumer-driven device primarily dedicated to leisure-based computing activities such as gaming and social networking.
The media tablet market is expected to grow at a 54 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. Unit shipments are forecast to grow from 17 million to 145 million in 2015. The PC will remain the primary device for completing work-related activities (e.g., creating documents), while more leisure-oriented activities, such as those mentioned above, will be much more applicable to the tablet.
New applications designed for the tablet, a growing number of market participants, led by Apple, and the simplicity and communal nature of media tablets will be important drivers of user adoption in this space. While the value proposition of tablets is compelling, the devices do not provide unique functionality compared to other mobile computing options in the market. Price, then, will be an important driver.
Demand in China will drive global demand. The overwhelming interest in the media tablet and the vast number of users in that country will provide plenty of opportunity for tablet vendors.
And while Apple has seized the first-mover advantage in the tablet market, we believe that Android will evolve quickly and catch up with Apple to share that dominance.