Multi-tablet households to rise in 2012 – study

Close to 5% of tablets sold in 2012 will likely be to individuals or households that already own a tablet – which equates to five million tablets worth between $1.5 and $2 billion in revenue, according to professional services firm, Deloitte.

In publishing the 11th edition of its predictions for the technology, media & telecommunications sector, Deloitte says that a record number of smartphones and tablet computers are likely to be purchased, driven by emerging markets where the installed base for many types of consumer technology remains relatively low.

The financial services group says that emerging markets should still enjoy relatively robust overall growth of mid- to high-single figures.

According to Deloitte, the main driver for multi-tablet individuals and households will be size, new form factors, price points and vendor business models.

The group said that as many as 75 million modern tablet computers had been sold since launching in 2010, however, thus far tablet demand has been largely homogeneous.

“In 2012, the supply of tablet choices is likely to become even more varied, and demand is likely to follow suit. As with smart phones, a category which now describes multiple types of devices, tablets will become increasingly diversified by size, processor power, operating system and business model,” Deloitte said.

Size, it argues, will be be a key driver for multiple tablet ownership.

There is likely to be a marked increase in the number and popularity of smaller tablets, ranging in screen size from five to seven inches, with tens of millions sold by year-end, compared to a few million in all of 2011.

Purchasers of lower-cost seven-inch tablets are likely to comprise first-time tablet owners, as well as existing 10-inch tablet owners simply wanting an additional smaller, lighter tablet that fits into a purse or pocket.

Smaller tablets are likely to be used differently than their ten-inch equivalents, due to the reduced processing power, while seven-inch tablets will likely mainly be sold at a lower price than 10-inch equivalents, from as little as $100, but more typically at $200, Deloitte said.

Structural shift in priorities

Deloitte offers that spending on consumer technology in 2012 may be stronger than expected due to a structural shift in priorities.

“A growing number of individuals, across all regions, may be placing more emphasis on purchasing, owning and enjoying technology than ever before. At one time, the rite of passage for becoming an adult may have been buying a car and then a house. However, in 2012 the rising cost of running a car and buying a house may well cause priorities to be reset,” the group said.

In emerging countries, consumer technology seems likely to remain a key purchase as households emerge from a subsistence-level existence. A television set is often one of the first items purchased in emerging countries with demand for TV sets even ahead of refrigerators, showers and electricity, Deloitte said.

Source: Deloitte (PDF)

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Multi-tablet households to rise in 2012 – study