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Tablet users to top 1bn this year

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While the tablet market is cooling off from its highs of the past four years, more than 1-billion people worldwide will use a tablet in 2015.This is the word from Christopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company, who says: “While tablet sales accounted for more than half of The Notebook Company’s turnover from 2011-2013, we are now focusing on the sale of laptops – and we expect tablet sales to drop to around 10% of our sales during 2015.”

According to new figures from eMarketer, the 1-billion figure represents nearly 15% of the global population and more than double the number three years ago. By 2018, the number of tablet users in the world will reach 1,43-billion.

One of the key points raised by eMarketer is that the growth in the number of global tablet users will slow dramatically in 2015 – and continue to “taper off”. The total number of tablet users is expected to increase by 17.1% this year.

While this figure is still relatively robust, it is a long way behind year-over-year gains of 54,1% in 2013 and 29,1% in 2014. By 2018, the growth rate for new tablet users worldwide is expected to be just 7,9%.

Riley says that, during 2011 to 2013, tablet sales outstripped laptop sales at The Notebook Company. “We became one of the largest sellers of Apple iPads in SA during this period – as there was a strong demand from our users, something which was exacerbated by a shortage of stock. But our focus has now shifted back to the sale of laptops.”

He says the company is expecting an increase of 10% to 15% in laptop sales for the 2015 calendar year, compared to last year.