SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 3 (UPI) -- Tablet PCs will overtake PC notebook computers by 2016, U.S. market research firm NPD DisplaySearch predicted Tuesday.
Shipment of tablets, such as Apple's iPad, are expected to reach 416 million in 2017, up from 121 million units this year. Notebook shipments are projected to grow to 393 million in 2017, up from 208 million this year.
More than half of all tablets shipped this year will go to North America, Japan and Western Europe.
"Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets," Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, said in a release. "While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption.
The DisplaySearch quarterly shipment and forecast report said tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form and performance, making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs. The tablets are expected to incorporate multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries and higher resolution displays, DisplaySearch said.