It would seem that all of those predictions stating that notebook shipments would plummet off of a cliff thanks to consumers' increased interest in tablets were slightly over exaggerated. According to a new report by NPD DisplaySearch, despite a projected 256 percent increase in tablet shipments in 2011, notebook shipments throughout the year remained brisk, increasing by a predicted 12 percent compared to 2010. Those predictions did, however, see a slight drop from an initial estimate of 188 million units to 187.5 million units.
The NPD report also indicates that by 2017, notebook shipments, worldwide, are expected to hit 432 million units, while tablet shipments will reach 383.3 million units. NPD DisplaySearch's Richard Shim says that although tablets will drive the mobile computer market in the short term, notebooks will inevitably see a resurgence with the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, and as new form factors like UltraBooks make it to market.
Ultrabook sales are, however, expected to face challenges in the early goings as a result of limited supplies and low consumer demand brought on by the form factor's higher prices. It is projected to take roughly two years for UltraBooks to break out of this predicted funk. That being said, tablets are still are force to be reckoned with in the mobile market. As of 2011, tablets made up a whopping 25.5 percent of all mobile PC shipments.