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Tablet shipments are set to surpass notebook shipments a new study has revealed.According to NPD DisplaySearch, the overtaking move will take place in 2016 due to demand for tablets in mature markets like Australia, USA, Japan and Europe.

 “Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebooks to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” said senior analyst Richard Shim. “New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets,” he explained, because “services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.”

Tablet sales are rising because of such convenience-oriented features as instant-on capability, long battery life and extreme portability, he said, and their expected evolution in form factor and performance will make them “a compelling alternative to notebook PCs.” The tablet evolution will include multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries and higher resolution displays, he said.

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Notebook PCs, however, are evolving to meet the tablet challenge, taking on thinner form factors, higher resolution displays and touch functionality.

In its forecast, NPD DisplaySearch forecasts overall mobile-PC shipments, including notebooks and tablets, will grow 133 percent from 347 million units in 2012 to more than 809 million in 2017. Notebook PC shipments will grow 89 percent from 208 million units in 2012 to 393 million in 2017, but tablet shipments will grow 244 percent from 121 million units to 416 million units.

Mature markets will account for 66 percent of global shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60-percent range through 2017, NPD said. Tablet PC shipments into mature markets will more than triple from 80 million units in 2012 to 254 million in 2017.

 Notebooks PCs will account for 60 percent of global mobile PC shipments in 2012 but will drop to a 49 share in 2017.

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