After a few false starts, the tablet computer market is fully taking off. The surge is led by Apple’s iPad tablet, which debuted in 2010 and single-handedly comprises a significant majority of the tablets found in consumer households today. While we know tablets are a hot-commodity item, a new report out of comScore indicates just how well tablet computers are doing in the U.S. Market.
According to the report, nearly 1 in 4 (23.6%) smartphone owners in the U.S. also own a tablet as of the end of April, up nearly 14% from the same period in 2011. When it came to non-smartphone owners, a still-respectable 10.6% of these individuals owned a tablet computer, a five-fold increase from April 2011. In total, 16.5% of all U.S. mobile subscribers have embraced the tablet computer and own at least one device in their household, an increase of 12%.
As the cost of tablets continues to come down, we will likely see these numbers increase even further. Google and ASUS are teaming up on a Nexus Tablet running on the Android platform, with high-end component parts and a surprisingly cheap $200 estimated price tag. While Android tablets to date have failed to take a significant bite out of Apple’s commanding market share lead, a $200 fully featured 7″ tablet could be enough to spark Android tablet sales, as evidenced by Amazon’s success with their e-reader/tablet hybrid Kindle Fire.
Apple is also not resting on its laurels, and is rumored to be producing a 7″ version of its top-selling iPad line of devices in time for the holiday season. If true, Apple is said to be targeting around the $250 to $300 mark for a 7″ slate, which could also push some of those on the fence about buying a tablet towards making a decision to purchase.
While the initial few waves of tablets largely fizzled out, the successes of the tablet market in the past few years indicate that there may finally be a market for tablet computers, and we believe the market is here to stay. As tablet computers have become more powerful and more portable, customers are starting to see them as true replacements for netbooks and even laptops for most use cases. With both Apple and Google said to be doubling-down on tablets in 2012, it would by no means be a surprise to see the 2013 report indicate the 25% number increase to near 50% in the April 2013 report.