Led by Apple's iPhone and iPad, smartphones and touch-screen tablets are propelling mobile broadband, but cannibalizing single-function devices for navigation, playing music and taking photographs.
Smartphones and tablets are driving the mobile broadband market while personal navigation, music players and digital-still cameras simultaneously decline in market share. (SOURCE: IHS iSuppli)
More and more users are moving to smartphones and touch-screen tablets—led by Apple's iPhone and iPad—as their main mobile broadband device, but are then using them to also perform navigation, music-playing and picture-taking tasks, thereby causing those markets to fall into decline.
According to IHS iSuppli, the market for touch-screen tablets is the fastest-growing mobile broadband sector, with over a 57 percent increase in device sales. The mobile broadband market—which also includes laptops, netbooks and e-books—will top 157 million units in 2011, compared with just over 100 million units in 2010. The big boom in mobile broadband sales will cool somewhat in the coming years, according to iSuppli, but will still sizzle at 38 percent growth in 2012 and stay in the double-digit range out to 2015, when it will grow 11 percent to over 350 million units. Overall, the five-year compound annual growth rate in mobile broadband is predicted by iSuppli to exceed 28 percent.
At the same time, rising smartphone and tablet sales will cut into markets for personal-navigation devices, music players and digital-still cameras, according to IHS iSuppli. Tablets by themselves will lead at a remarkable growth rate of over 72 percent through 2015, while smartphones will grow at 28 percent, and personal-navigation devices, music players and digital-still cameras will flatten or fall into decline.
The iPhone and iPad will continue to lead in sales, with Apple's iPad receiving the highest satisfaction rate of all tablets when compared with other vendors, according to an IHS iSuppli survey of 1,404 end users this spring. Apple iPad owners rated their satisfaction at 8.8 on a scale of 10, compared with 8.5 for Samsung's Galaxy Tab, 8.4 for Motorola's Xoom and 7.6 for HP's Touchpad. A surprise second place, at 8.75, was scored for the Zenithink tablet from China's Shenzhen (although the sample set was very small, compared with Apple's iPad).
Among U.S. tablet owners, over 79 percent said they owned an Apple iPad and 61 percent said they had already decided to stick with the Apple brand for their next tablet. Among users who did not have tablets yet, over 50 percent said they would likely choose the Apple brand, with the second choice being Dell, but at a distant 11 percent. As a result, IHS iSuppli predicts that Apple's iPad will have the majority of tablet sales through 2012, and will remain the top-selling brand at least through 2015.