Increasing number of businesses to embrace them
ABI Research predicts global tablet shipments will hit the 145 million mark in 2013. The tablet boom is also expected to have a negative effect on PC shipments, as consumers invest in new tablets, rather than upgrade their antiquated desktops and laptops.
The forecast isn’t all that surprising, as other research outfits have already come out with equally optimistic figures. However, this is what we find interesting in ABI’s report: businesses will buy one in five tablets sold in 2013. The exact figure is 19 percent, but it is still very high compared to 2012 and 2011. Tablets are often viewed as sleek toys for content consumption, but an increasing number of businesses are putting them to good use as well.
ABI also expects manufacturers to unveil tablets specifically tailored to fit the needs of the workplace. What these all-rounders will include is anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to assume that more convertible designs with 4G connectivity are coming our way.
Of course, in spite of add-on keyboards, faster data connectivity and high definition screens, tablets are still not ideally suited for many business applications. They don’t exactly feature spacious screens and their ecosystems are still largely consumer oriented.
However, if ABI’s predictions pan out, upcoming Windows 8 tablets could find a lucrative niche market. Most companies are still dependent on Windows and Windows RT just doesn’t cut it. The ability to run legacy applications on proper x86 tablets could allow Redmond to enter the tablet market through the back door, by grabbing a sizable chunk of business sales.