Media tablets to be fourth largest market for semiconductors by 2014

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IHS expects sales of chipsets for tablets to reach $18.2 billion in two years time.

Media tablets are set to become the world’s fourth-largest application for semiconductors by 2014, led by Apple Inc.’s iPad, said industry researcher IHS iSuppli. Sales of semiconductors for tablets are expected to surge to $18.2 billion in 2014, up from $2.6 billion in 2010, the year that Apple launched its iPad. By 2014, semiconductor sales for tablets are expected to be exceeded only by mobile handsets, mobile personal computers and desktop PCs, IHS said.

Media tablets ranked as the 35th largest market for semiconductors in 2010, they jumped to the No. 8 position in 2011 and will climb to fifth place this year, IHS said. Click here to find out more!”The speed of the media tablet’s rise from near insignificance to top-tier prominence is unprecedented in the history of the global semiconductor industry,” said Dale Ford, IHS’s head of electronics and semiconductor research.”Driven primarily by Apple’s iPad, the media tablet in four years is expected to scale semiconductor heights that took more than a decade for other products to attain, such as notebook PCs and cellphones. This meteoric ascension will have major repercussions for the global semiconductor industry, as it realigns to accommodate the fast growth and vast size of the media tablet market.”

IHS also said mobile handsets will become the world’s largest semiconductor application this year, exceeding mobile PCs for the first time ever. The rapid rise of media tablets will also spread growth opportunities among a wider set of suppliers than previous platforms did, IHS said.

“While there will be a handful of suppliers that will stand out as the leading suppliers of semiconductors for media tablets, there are many component markets that represent highly attractive opportunities for a diverse group of suppliers,” Ford said.”Interestingly enough, media tablets and handsets are a key driving force in reducing some of the consolidation in the semiconductor industry that has developed in more mature markets like PCs.”