Media tablet shipments surpassed netbook shipments in the second quarter, reaching 13.6 million units, compared to just 7.3 million netbooks. Netbooks had previously led the way with 8.4 million shipments in 1Q11, compared to just 6.4 million media tablets, according to ABI Research.
Apple’s iPad 2 is driving interest, with 68% of the media tablet shipments in 2Q11 being Apple iPad models. Consumers are choosing tablets over netbooks for a number of reasons. Media tablets are perceived to be easy to use, compared to the keyboard and mouse interface of a netbook computer. Cost does not seem to be a factor as the average media tablet is twice as expensive as a netbook with similar capabilities.
While 32 million netbooks and 60 million media tablets are expected to ship worldwide in 2011, netbooks still hold interest in underserved countries, where PC penetration to the home, along with broadband services, are not widely available. Media tablet shipments will primarily cater to the early-adopter consumer audiences of Western Europe, the US, Japan, and South Korea.