Forrester: Tablets will be our main computing device by 2016

Many IT departments right now are deciding whether to support tablets for the users in their organizations. But some experts say they soon won’t have a choice. 

Around 375 million tablets will be sold in 2016, predicts Forrester analyst Frank Gillett in a recent blog post. That will bring the total number of tablets in use around the world to 760 million — and make tablets the primary computing device for most users.

One-third of those tablets will be purchased for business use, Gillett says. Apple’s popular iPad especially is getting a lot of attention and money from businesses, according to another recent Forrester report.

The reasons for the increase in popularity of the iPad and other tablets: They’re easier to use and carry around than traditional laptops, and they’re better for collaborating and working in groups.

Also, the tablet market is still new, and tablet applications and the devices themselves will only get better. While tablets are already ideal for content consumption, applications designed for content creation are becoming better and more common, according to Gillett.

However, while tablets will take over as most people’s main computing device, Gillett says, the PC won’t disappear completely. In fact, while tablets will slow laptop sales, sales of desktop PCs will actually increase, as many people will have a more powerful machine that stays home and an ultra-portable device they can bring everywhere else.

Gillett’s prediction for tablet sales in 2016 is higher than many other estimates, including a recent one from IDC that estimates 200 million tablets will be sold in 2016. However, IDC analysts still predict that there will be more Android devices than Windows machines in use by that time.

What do you think? Are you ready to ditch your laptop for a tablet? Do users in your organization use tablets instead of laptops? Let us know in the comments section below.