Tablet sales to exceed laptops by 2016

Tablet sales will exceed laptop sales by 2016 according to research company NPD as more and more consumers opt instead for devices like Apple’s iPad.

While laptops will continue to enjoy healthy sales, the NPD forecast shows tablets will overtake them as the mobile PC product of choice in just four years.

According to NPD’s figures, tablets shipments will boom from 121 million in 2012 to more than 416 million by the start of 2017.

Laptops sales have been projected at 393 million units by 2017.

“Tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form factor and performance making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs,” NPD senior analyst Richard Shim said in the report.

The NPD research also pointed out that laptops are expected to remain a large segment of the mobile PC market in 2017 – up to 50 per cent.

The real growth in the tablet market will come from North America, Japan and Western Europe which will make up 66 per cent of worldwide sales in 2012 and 60 per cent in the next few years.

Apple’s iPad continues to dominate the tablet market with recently announced products like Microsoft’s Surface and Google’s Nexus 7 expected to also attract strong sales when they are released.

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