Hardware and the Future of Publishing

Here’s a Stub for Now:

1. Apple’s will have sold roughly 60 million iPads by the end of 2012, presumably about ⅔ in North America, so 40 million owners. That will be the total targetable base for vendors by the end of next year.

2. By then non-iOS tablets sold will equal iPads, although I’d project that at least ⅔ will be outside North America. So the targetable North American base for Android, RIM and HP tablets could be 20 million owners. Some other numbers that matter for publishers and software developers in the publishing space:

a. Apple’s Macintosh computer has about 10% market share in North America (it could be as high as 15%). There is contradictory data about Macintosh adoption in the core publishing demographic. The Macintosh computer is the unquestionable favorite in the professional graphic design community. I’ve never found compelling data for other sectors. The iPad is also clearly much in vogue among the well-heeled technorati and digerati, although they may be more visible than numerous.

b. The installed base of Macintosh computers is a relatively-modest 54 million worldwide (6/2011). This is 3.8% of the 1.4 billion PCs in use (end of 2010). Again the numbers in North America are more favorable to the Macintosh.

c. Taking the measure of mobile: think smartphones here, not tablets. The smartphone numbers are always stunning in terms of growth. But the base is still modest: the U.S. had 63 million smartphone subscribers in December 2010. Moving forward, 60% of handsets shipped will be smartphones with sophisticated browsing capabilities.