Lower-cost media tablets to overtake more costly models over next 5 years, says researcher

ABI Research forecasts that by 2016, media tablets costing less than $400 will account for 60 percent of the market.
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The market for sub-$400 media tablets is expected to witness significant growth over the next five years, accounting for 60 percent market share by 2016, according to a new forecast from ABI Research.

During the same period, the market for media tablets priced at more than $400 is forecast to shrink, the research group says.

According to ABI Research, spurred by the buzz created by the Apple iPad, the media tablet market has seen growth in the number of vendors offering product, especially tablets in the lower price range. Currently, more than 220 models of media tablets are available to consumers, and strong growth is forecast over the next few years by adoption in emerging markets.

The forecast and data, part of ABI Research’s “Mobile Internet Device Product Tracker,” reveal that wide-aspect display media tablets (9in and larger) are most desired in the market and account for more than 75 percent of the total media tablet volume in 2011. Most of that can be attributed to the Apple iPad 2, according to ABI Research. However, over the next few years displays between 7in and 9in are expected to grow in popularity as consumers look for more portable options.

Additionally, eReaders are expected to see accelerated growth, with more than 30 models currently available from major vendors. 2011 saw 33 percent growth in the eReader market. Total shipments are expected to grow more than 20 percent in 2012, the research firm says.