Tablet shipments to grow five-fold to 253 million by 2016


Tablet shipments driven by new vendors with entreprise increasingly adopting the new devices, says report

Tablet shipments worldwide will rise five-fold by 2016 to hit 253 million with nearly a fifth of tablets going to enterprise, according to estimates from Juniper Research.

The firm predicts that a total of 55.2 million tablets will be shipped this year, but that figure is set to rocket as more vendors follow Apple into the market following Apple’s launch of the iPad 2 earlier this year.

Vendors such as Samsung, HTC, RIM and Motorola have all entered the market this year, with traditional PC makers set to follow as the PC market slows.

Juniper said that Microsoft’s statements about making the next version of the Windows operating system, Windows 8, compatible with tablets, indicates that mobile is the fastest growing market for consumer technology. The research firm said that the deployment of Microsoft’s Office Suite to tablets would make the devices more appealing to the enterprise market.

Juniper said that it also expects half of all tablets to be able to connect to mobile networks by 2016, as faster 4G connections are rolled out and tablets penetrate developing nations where Wi-Fi is scarce.

Report author Daniel Ashdown said that new operator tariffs would also play a role.

“Multi-device plans (for a smartphone and a tablet) will overcome the problem of consumers not wanting to pay another subscription,” he said.