But a new study indicates tablets are a long way from replacing notebook computers for many buyers. One in three respondents in an ongoing tracking study by ABI Research released today said they plan to purchase a laptop computer in the first half of 2012. Also, 16% of those responding to the company’s Technology Barometer survey said they plan to buy a media tablet.
"U.S. consumers are holding on to home PCs longer," says ABI’s Consumer Research Group Director Jeff Orr. "This has created a near-term opportunity for the incremental purchase of media tablets.
But Orr also says consumer interest remains strong for laptops including the new, slimmer Ultrabooks which feature tablet-like touch screens.
ABI said consumers “intent to buy” was higher for both notebooks and tablets compared to its earlier survey. Windows PC laptop ownership climbed to 64% from 61% and Apple laptops came in at 11% among those responding, up from 9%.
"User experience and pricing are key levers for media tablet manufacturers when competing against Apple," says Orr who notes that Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire jumped to second place behind Samsung for Android media tablet market share after less than one month on the market.
"Apple's lead is safe for the time being, though the sheer number of competitors will continue to whittle away at the iPad's market share, particularly when more consumers embrace tablets as laptop alternatives,” he said.
Last week Apple reported selling 11.8 million iPads in its most recent quarter ending in March, a 151% increase from the same quarter a year ago.
ABI Research’s biannual Technology Barometer covers results from 2,000 U.S. consumers who the company says completed a comprehensive online questionnaire that gathered information on their next six month purchase intentions.