Sarah Rotman Epps, Analyst, Consumer Product Strategy, Forrester Research

iPad interface looks great and this is the first time that this has happened. iPad has created a use case for tablets. In their data they are seeing strong use case for iPad as a portable unit in the home. iPad replaces laptop while watching TV and also becomes the unit you watch TV on. It reinvents the PC.

Forrester sees tablet as a new form of PC. New numbers released today: They forecast 59M tablets by 2015. The only form factor that will decline is desktops, but a lot of people will be using them even so. By 2012 tablets will outnumber dedicated ereaders and by 2014 tablets will outnumber netbooks. Smartphone and PC users will still outnumber tablets. 3.5 M tablets to be sold this year and 8.9M to be sold next year. These are pretty small numbers for publishers. Publishers should consider tablets as branding opportunity. Wired app has sold over 84K copies so far. Being an early mover in getting on tablets allows publisher to do a lot of market testing right now. Publishers future is app-centric and multi-platform Forrester doesn’t see any one device dominating. So must figure out how to make money on publishing for many platforms which will each have a fairly small amount of readers. Even browsers will feature apps. B&N has more than a million downloads of their app on PCs, which equals the amount of iPhone apps they have. To soon to tell how the market will go: Apple could control the market, like mp3; develop like netbooks; Google could take over the smartphone market. Suspects that dominant future will be smartphone market with Google Android in the lead. Tablet that is just a netbook without a keyboard will not be successful. The GUI must be something like the iPad and have a real touch interface. Will be difficult for many of these devices to compete with Apple because of the GUI and Apple is well positioned to sell these devices (Apple store) and teach people how to use them.

Tablets introduce a fourth form factor to the multi-pc consumer. 65% of consumers now own more than one PC. See continued market for dedicated ereaders. See prices coming way down. Future is not the tablet, future is multi-platform.

RIM is working on a tablet device that is more optimized to be a companion to the Blackberry. RIM supports enterprise much better than Apple and that is their strength, not consumer market.


  1. 3.5 mi tablets sold this year is a totally wacky forecast, or a very old one, unless you are talking about tablets not made by Apple.

    With Apple having sold 2mi iPads in less than 60 days and half of the year ahead of use, I’d say they alone are probably going to sell more than 6mi.

    The overall number of devices might not be to significant yet for the big book publishers, but with just 2mi potential readers Wired managed to more than double it’s regular reader base by selling more iPad digital issues than it regularly sells in paper form. What is even more impressive is that it has been barely 15 days since the iPad digital issue was released.

  2. Why is it all about the iPad?

    As I pointed out before iPhones and iPod Touches have had a huge amount of readers accessing the Kindle App and Stanza App for a while now.

    Now Apple is set with the next OS4 update to introduce iBooks into the iPhone mix.

    A screen is still a screen even if it is not “tablet size” and with Apple introducing over 20 million users to iBooks on the iPhone by the end of 2010 (and that number is conservative) the idea this will not have an HUGE impact or attract more readers than just about any other device out there is silly.

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