Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Global tablet revenues to surpass $49B by 2015

Global tablet revenues will exceed $49 billion worldwide by 2015, with North America, Asia-Pacific and Western Europe leading the way as the most valuable regions for tablet vendors, according to Strategy Analytics.

The research firm is forecasting that global tablet wholesale revenues will explode from zero in 2009 to $49 billion in 2015. Tablets are a high-value casual-computing segment that is creating huge growth opportunities for device manufacturers such as Apple, Motorola and Samsung, but also for brands and retailers.

“Tablets enable retailers to sell products from a new, high-growth computing category that emphasizes interaction as well as communication,” said Neil Mawston, Milton Keynes, England-based director at Strategy Analytics. “Tablets are at the leading edge of convergence and they are increasingly designed to interact with smartphones, TVs and cars, rather than being perceived as largely standalone devices like laptops.

“This means retailers will be in a position to cross-sell multiple devices to customers, potentially increasing their addressable markets,” he said.

“For example, a consumer might purchase a Samsung TV for their home living room, a Samsung tablet for interactive voting during a TV program, and a Samsung smartphone for the commute to work.”

Strategy Analytics is an independent research and consulting firm headquartered in Boston.

Tablet boom
Strategy Analytics predicts that 80 percent of the value of the tablet market in 2015 will reside in both high-tier and entry-tier models, as tablets address the opportunities in both developed and emerging markets such as the Asia-Pacific region.

On a global basis, tablet revenues will surpass those of every consumer electronics category except TVs and PCs by 2015, per Mr. Mawston.

In terms of revenues, the largest opportunity for tablet vendors will be in North America, Asia Pacific and Western Europe, according to the firm.

Although the average selling prices in Asia Pacific will be less than 85 percent of those in Western Europe by 2015, the total value of the Asia Pacific region will exceed Western Europe by this time, per Strategy Analytics.

Mr. Mawston said that the worldwide portable computing market is shifting from the keyboard to the touchscreen. This is the same broad trend that has long been playing out in mobile phones, where keypads are gradually being replaced by touchscreens.

“Consumers find touchscreens intuitive to use and they maximize the real estate for the display, which are important factors in consuming entertainment such as Internet browsing or video watching,” Mr. Mawston said.

“Android and Microsoft are the two main software threats to Apple iOS in the next three years, due to their global scale, famous brands and deep pockets,” he said.

“Apple iPad will remain dominant in hardware for the foreseeable future, but long-term threats could come from tier-one brands with global retail presence, such as Samsung, Dell or even Amazon.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily