Shipments of tablet devices such as Apple’s (AAPL) iPad are forecast to outstrip sales of desktop computers by 2013, while smartphone sales will exceed total computer sales, according to a special report on wireless communications from iSuppli.
Although many devices have been labeled as convergent from a consumer’s perspective, we believe the driving force for convergent mobile O/S has been devices like the iPad. Tablets are unique in that they truly have brought once-disparate industries together and as direct competitors. Despite the current upsurge of smart phone players trying to extend their platforms to tablets, many of them lack competent O/S as well as competitive device commerce/content ecosystems to handle a wider range of uses.
We believe creation tablets will create both a larger market opportunity and more PC cannibalization than others forecast today.
Our departure from conventional thinking stems from our belief that tablets (2-4 years out) not only will be able to retain their form factor advantages, but also possess notebook-like content creation capabilities when equipped with a competent O/S and a wireless keyboard/mouse.
Tablets are an early step in a larger CE revolution, where devices increasingly get smarter and possess greater commonality, empowered by a unifying O/S and more shared chipsets. Thus, hardware and software similarity will exist in devices that previously had none. We believe that TVs (by bringing them under a converged mobile O/S with relevant and new apps) are probably the next important catalyst in this evolution.
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