Two weeks ago, a Samsung executive told Jun Yang of Bloomberg News (Nov. 18) that his company expects demand from businesses will boost sales of its Galaxy Tab device.
“There will be pretty big demand,” said Lee Don Joo, senior vice president of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Division. Demand from hospitals and insurance companies will lead sales to businesses as doctors and insurance agents replace paper and bulkier laptops, he said.
Meanwhile, Yang writes, Research In Motion is also winning business for its PlayBook tablet, with commitments from Sun Life Financial and ING Group to buy the device when it goes on sale next quarter.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple controlled 95 percent of the tablet market in the third quarter, with global sales of 4.4 million units.
More manufacturers have joined the tablet race, including Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Lenovo and Acer**. This trend has prompted Gartner to cut is PC sales forecast for 2011, “as enduring hardship continues for consumers and business and uncertainty looms around whether tablets such as Apple’s iPad will cannibalize PCs,” wrote Leah Gabriel Nurik of ChannelInsider.com (Nov. 30).
Gartner cuts PC sales forecast as tablet market grows
In 2011, Gartner predicts PC shipments will reach 409 million units – a 15.9 percent growth rate over 2010, down from its previous estimate of 18.1 percent growth in 2011.
“PCs are still seen as necessities, but the PC industry’s inability to significantly innovate and its overreliance on a business model predicated on driving volume through price declines are finally impacting the industry’s ability to induce new replacement cycles,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner, in a release.
“As the PC market slows, vendors that differentiate themselves through services and technology innovation rather than unit volume and price will dictate the future.”
**Acer to enter tablet market
On Nov. 23, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Acer debuted its first tablet computers. It is releasing two Android models (one with a 7-inch and another with a 10.1-inch screen) and a Windows Phone 7 model (with a 10.1-inch screen).
Acer is hoping to sell 40 to 50 million such tablets next year, commanding an estimated 10 percent of the tablet market.
“It’s a wide-open market and an opportunity for Acer to make itself better known to a North American market,” Roger Entner, head of telecom research at Nielsen, told Bloomberg News (Nov. 23).
The Windows Phone 7 device will be available in February, while the two Android tablets are set to hit store shelves in April. All three tablets offer Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. Acer said the tablets will likely range in price from $299 to $699.