Aussies' love affair with tablet computers will continue to flourish over the next four years and by which time, more than half of the country's population would own the hugely popular mobile computing tool, a new report said.
In 2012 alone, some 2.4 million tablets will end up on Australian hands, according to the new report released this week by research firm Telsyte.
Expectedly, around 70 per cent of the gadget that Australian consumers will purchase through December 2012 is made by Apple, largely confirming analysts' earlier readings that the tech giant will again experience a surge in the fourth quarter of the current year.
The main reason is the arrival of the iPad Mini later this year plus the release of the iPhone 5 also within the same period, providing a juggernaut for Apple to conclude the year with a big bang.
Yet tablets' incredible explosion can also be attributed to the flood of Android-powered brands in the global market, essentially creating a wide-array of choices for buyers unwilling to fork out so much cash for the premium-priced iPad, Telsyte said.
The estimated 15 per cent of Aussies to lug along tablets by the end of 2012 were and would be lured by Android tablets tagged with sticker price between $200 and $300, according to Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi.
And their options would be further expanded in the coming months not only because Apple and Android tablet vendors will be unleashing new models but also due to the entry of Microsoft to the increasingly competitive tablet market.
By late October 2012, the American software giant will unwrap its Windows 8, which will be packed with three of the most dominant gadget these days - the conventional PCs, smartphones and tablets.
The Windows 8 launch will also see the formal birth of Surface, Microsoft's answer to Apple's iPad, which will be unfurled in two versions - one will be powered by Intel processor chips and the other will be energised by ARM.
The latter, news reports said, is Microsoft's entry-level dip in the market and will be priced in the same range of the best-selling Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus.
Such specific tablet packaging was largely responsible for the product's consistent penetration into consumers' consciousness, Mr Fadaghi told Computerworld Australia on Tuesday.
"Tablets have captured the imagination of the gadget-loving Australian public, with the mainstream adoption driving its rapid growth ... Consumers are attracted to their simplicity and ease of use and are increasingly shifting their computing activities to tablets," he explained.
Mr Fadaghi also affirmed earlier reports that tablets with cellular connectivity were slow to capture consumers' fascination, with the Telsyte report indicating that Wi-Fi connection for the device has been meeting buyers' preference for now.
This edition, he added, provides a win-win situation for both tablet manufacturers and buyers as the device is cheaper to produce and therefore can be retailed more affordably.
And as tablets' prominence climbs further, Telsyte said consumers will more and more overlook desktop and notebook computers because "people are finding fewer compelling reasons to buy" them.
Also, smartphone sales are expected to decline in the years ahead, which should serve as a clue that the both global and local markets are nearing saturation point as far as the ubiquitous gadget is concerned, according to the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
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