Tablets to be a Commodity in 1 or 2 Years

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Insight Media is not trying to soften the blow here folks. eReaders are already a commodity and will eventually be sold as $40 impulse items, while tablet PCs will follow a similar path, said the research firm in a webinar.

“In a year or 2 the latest, tablets will end up as a commodity; maybe not the iPad, but devices coming out of China…” noted analyst Norbert Hildebrand.
eReaders are now at everyday prices between $100 and $150, where earlier in the year, many were priced around $300.

Analysts including Insight Media agree that 100 million is the magic number for sales of tablets/eReaders in 2013. Digitimes today said it also expects sales of tablets to hit the 100 million mark in 2013, but it was unclear if that figure includes eReaders.

The growth curve will show sales just below 45 million units for eReaders and tablets combined in 2011, reaching past a global 70 million in 2012. By 2018 sales should near 170 million units, said Insight Media.

eReaders with larger screens that are for textbook or magazine use may be able to avoid commoditization in the near term. And some suppliers (HP and RIM), are hoping to keep their tablets above the fray by aiming at corporate users.

Another tidbit from today’s webinar: in the U.S., there are currently 50 million avid readers who are potential eReader users. An avid reader is defined as one who reads about 1 book per month.

Source: Insight Media

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