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Hardware makers who thought the netbook market would prove a short-lived fad ended up kicking themselves in the backside for not striking when the coals were hot. But on the bright side, they've been given a mulligan. The most talked about tech item is now the tablet PC, and according to market research firm DisplaySearch, this segment will show an explosive 200 percent growth rate this year. For those who haven't jumped on the tablet bandwagon, now's the time to do so.
"The upcoming product announcements, introductions, and demonstrations in the coming weeks will build on the tremendous momentum that the market has already seen and will lead to segmentation in the tablet (slate) PC market," said Richard Shim, mobile computing analyst for DisplaySearch. "This segmentation translates to significant shipment growth and proliferation in the short and long term."
By the end of the year, DisplaySearch figures the tablet market will have grown by 55.7 million units. Dominating these device sales will be 7-inch wide, 10-inch standard, and 10-inch wide models.
At the same time, DisplaySearch says "the significant growth of slates is expected to cannibalize the mini-note and notebook mobile PC categories,," though this will vary by region. It will be most noticeable in mature markets where PC penetration rates are the highest, DisplaySearch predicts, and negligible in emerging markets.
"The overall result will be an increase in the mobile PC category" to the tune of 30.4 percent, DisplaySearch says.