Not So Fast, Tablets: New Reports Say Long Road Ahead

Browsing through email in the iPad

Two reports out Wednesday cautioned mobile professionals to think twice about the speed at which tablets are taking over our lives. For one thing, tablet sales aren’t actually cutting into PC sales, according to NPD, and J.P Morgan believes that tablet manufacturers who aren’t making iPads are actually cutting their production schedules for 2011.

So far this year as growth in the PC market has slumped, tablets (and smartphones to a certain extent) have been seen as the culprits, as consumers opt to purchase an iPad this year and perhaps extend the life of their aging PC a little longer. Not so, says NPD in a report from May spotted by Forbes: “only 14 percent of early iPad adopters (iPad owners of six months or more) abandoned a PC purchase for an iPad, and that dropped to just 12 percent of iPad owners who purchased over the past holiday season.” So clearly tablets aren’t replacing PCs, which few believed to be true anyway.

And NPD’s survey backed up the early contention that tablet buyers aren’t that interested in 3G connectivity, preferring Wi-Fi-only versions of tablets. Apple’s $499 Wi-Fi-only iPad accounted for one-third of all tablet sales, NPD said.

Apple’s dominance of the category is sinking in among other tablet vendors, according to J.P. Morgan. As spotted by Appleinsider, tablet makers like Motorola (NYSE: MMI), Samsung and Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) are said to have reduced their manufacturing plans by around 15 percent, with some of the other non-Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) players in the tablet game cutting plans even further. As a result, the company slightly lowered its forecast for global tablet production to 63 million units in 2011.


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