Though the tablet market slowed down during this year's second quarter, the market is still expected to grow significantly for the foreseeable future. Android tablet shipments alone have doubled in just the past year.
Analyst firm Forrester Research is now predicting a big future for tablets. The firm predicts that worldwide tablet sales will reach 381 million tablets by the year 2017. Though only 18% of these tablets are predicted to be purchased for enterprise use, Forrester states that tablets will soon begin to become prevalent in business scenarios, particularly in a medical context. A wide variety of workers are expected to be issued tablets or to bring their own to work in the coming years.
Forrester's report also predicts that 905 million tablets will be in the hands of consumers by 2017, with 29% of "online customers" using one. 60% of consumers who are online in North America are predicted to own a tablet, as well as 42% of online Europeans.
The report also singles out multi-user tablets and multi-user apps as important for future scenarios. Forrester envisions tablets that can be used by multiple users in both commercial and consumer contexts, as well as apps that can enable collaboration between people on multiple tablets.