Designer looks and new form factors drive mobile computer sales

Demand for mobile computers is on the rise as consumer electronics makers focus on creating products with eye-catching designs and more functional form factors.

Continued interest in mobile computing products such as tablets, netbooks, smartbooks and notebook PCs is expected to last well into the next four years, growing by an average of 19.1 percent year-on-year.

In 2014 mobile computing device sales will exceed 400 million units said market researcher InStat in a report released on September 8.

"While there will be a battle for the lower-end Internet-centric devices like tablets and netbooks, notebooks will continue to be the overall demand driver as consumers focus on lighter and lower-cost PCs and businesses continue to transition to mainstream and high-performance mobile platforms," said Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist on September 8.  

Notebook shipments will exceed 291 million units in 2014 (accounting for 52 percent of the entire computing market). Meanwhile, tablets will show the highest growth trends, exceeding 123 percent growth year-on-year through 2014.

"In addition, demand for mobile computing is coming from both developing and industrialized regions," said McGregor.

Higher income earners and businesses are purchasing mobile computing devices to supplement their existing line-up of PCs and/or smartphones while consumers in developing regions see mobile computing devices as a cheaper way for them to possess their own computer.

Mobile computer shipments are expected to show the highest rate of growth within the Asia Pacific region, "surpassing 36% of the total market in 2014," said InStat.

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