As few would have predicted, the popularity of tablets has soared over the past year, changing media consumption and internet user behavior forever. With a plethora of apps and new devices entering the market over the course of 2011, this hot new product has gone from a geeky gadget in early adopter mode to mainstream consumer electronic in record time. That’s why it should come as no surprise that these sleek media devices are expected to outsell their heavier, bulkier, collapsible cousins this holiday season.
According a winter holiday shopping survey by PriceGrabber, tablets will be much more in demand than laptops this year. When consumers were asked whether they would rather receive a tablet or a laptop computer as a gift this year, an overwhelming 79 percent responded that they would rather receive a tablet. Additionally, 72 percent of shoppers also indicated that they believe tablets will replace e-readers as gifts this year. The main determining factors for this preference were portability, convenience and that oh-so-friendly touchscreen. Also not surprising was the response provided by consumer when asked which tablet they preferred to receive as a gift. An astounding 83 percent said they preferred the Apple iPad.
While sales of laptops and e-readers are obviously expected to experience the greatest decline, there are other products that are sure to suffer as well. Computer peripherals, software, laptop bags and many others will also have decreased demand. While this may be bad news for laptop makers like Dell and Toshiba, it’s not necessarily a long term disaster. With some innovative thinking they can dominate this space next year. With the market for technology products moving as quickly as has been, next year’s tablets could be this year’s laptops.