Forrester: Tablet Sales Will Eclipse Laptop Sales by 2015

This post is a little off topic, but when I saw this article I had to post it. Some colleagues of mine gave me a hard time when I predicted that the iPad (and others like it afterwards) was a clear game changer. While I didn’t see this much uplift I did however go on record saying that the laptop world will be impacted in a big way. So for my friends and colleagues… what did I tell you… Smile

 

Forrester published a revised — and far more aggressive — U.S. tablet sales forecast Tuesday, estimating that tablet sales will total 195 million between 2010 and 2015. The firm also predicts the majority of these tablets will bear the Apple logo.

Forrester’s projections are still considerably more conservative than forecasts recently published by eMarketer, which predicts that 81.3 million tablets will be sold in 2012 alone, up from 15.7 million this year, and Gartner, which estimates that 19.5 million tablets have been purchased this year and that sales will multiply to 54.8 million in 2011 and more than 208 million by 2014.

You can find the full article on Mashable here: http://mashable.com/2011/01/05/forrester-tablet-sales/

 

To reel this in for the Enterprise Architects and IT Planners, what does this mean to IT organizations? I think it has a huge impact on enterprises. Not in the way we see it now with the early adopters and the special use cases but in a much more impactful way.

Here are the key factors in which tablets are going to impact the enterprise:

  • Ease of Use – Tablets like the iPad will replace laptops. I know this is a bold statement but for a good portion of the managers to the executives which already have laptops rarely perform highly computational work. Mostly email, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
  • Total Cost of Ownership – IT will look at the total cost of ownership of a laptop and compare to a tablet which will drive adoption. The average laptop fully loaded (hardware and software) will run you any where from 2 to 4k. This is a big delta from a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard, docking station with a cover and the approved applications.
  • Mobility – Ultra mobile, great on planes, trains and even in the passenger seat of an automobile…
  • Intuitiveness– Gestures and touch is the next big wave for user experience (UX). This I believe will make users much more productive.
  • The Right Technology for the Right Problems – Ultimately I believe that the desktop and laptop will never fully go away. We will continue to use these for what they are best at. We may end up with a combination of these devices to get the best of both worlds.

 

As we see even now, computing devices will take on many different form factors that suit our lifestyles. We have gone through waves of evolution from Tethering to a desk (desktop computer) to Tethered to a 4lb hot plate to a thin low disk and horse powered mobile device. We will intuitively know what device to use for the right uses.

For the enterprise we will see the same effect. IT will need to prepare for this and make sure they are prepared for mobility. 

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