About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


Global Consumer Tablet Market reaches 18.8 Million Shipments in Q1 2012

The consumer tablet market reached a global total of nearly 19 million units shipped in Q1 2012, growing by 188% from the same period in 2011, according to the latest Tablet Tracking report from Futuresource Consulting.

Growth is fuelled primarily by the current low level of product penetration, Apple's annual product updates and marketing might, as well as the segment's continuing 'hot product' status which remains a key influencer on consumers' wallets.

The tablet's status as a booming product category is supported by an equally buoyant market for mobile content and apps, where innovation matches hardware. In 2012, Futuresource predictions show that 6.1 billion apps will be downloaded for tablets, representing $2.1bn retail value.

In Q1 2012, the market trade value was up 122% year-on-year and the US remained the largest market, with consumer penetration reaching 23% in the US this year, approaching saturation point before other global markets. In Q1 2012 China became the second largest and the fastest growing tablet market, with its growth rate exceeding 380% year-on-year. However, population penetration is expected to reach only 1% in 2012, therefore representing enormous potential for continued growth.

Looking to Android-based tablets, the devices have so far seen some limited success, accounting for 33% of worldwide tablet shipments in 2011, and most of them have been able to compete in the consumer space mainly based on low average selling price.

The arrival of tablets based on the Windows 8 platform in Q4 2012 is expected to contribute to market growth from 2013 onwards, particularly within the corporate sector. However, the potentially high price of these devices may hinder their adoption within the consumer market.

Looking to the immediate future, the emergence of major sporting events in 2012 is fuelling a rise in the uptake of tablets, as consumers demand connection while away from home to view TV content or keep on track of results. The associated size and features of the tablet mean that consumers can enjoy a higher quality viewing experience in comparison to that of a smartphone.

Long-term prospects for the tablet industry are positive with strong growth throughout the forecast period, driven by a widening array of mobile content for tablets including apps, and from 2015, multiple ownership per household will also drive market growth.