Research firm NPD DisplaySearch just released the results of a new survey, and the numbers strongly indicate that tablets are the undoubted wave/way of the future:

Overall mobile PC shipments will grow from 347M units in 2012 to over 809M units by 2017. …

While notebook PC shipments are expected to increase from 208M units in 2012 to 393M units by 2017, tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 121M units to 416M units in this period, for a compound annual growth rate of 28%.

Mobile PC Shipment Forecast.

Mature vs. Emerging Markets.

Though emerging markets continue to dabble in cost-effective tablet solutions, they likely won’t be responsible for the tablet segment’s medium-term growth. Instead (and expectedly), the world’s mature markets — including North America, Japan, and Western Europe — will remain the driving force behind tablet computing’s rapid adoption for the period in question.

Why?

Says NPD senior analyst Richard Shim,

New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.

Seems obvious enough.

Of course, to me, the whole thing’s pretty obvious. Heck, I’ve been saying this and living this (and loving this) since 2010!

It’s nice to live in the future.

Source: NPD DisplaySearch