Are We Entering the “Age of the Tablet Computer?”

Tablet computers are becoming more popular. Is this a new trend? Will it hurt “desktop” PC sales? Time will tell!

Will Tablets Kill the PC Star?

“THE AGE OF THE TABLET COMPUTER is upon us, and Wall Street stepped up its efforts this week to gauge just how destructive the trend will be to the traditional personal-computer market.

Computer-industry observers have been warning for months now that tablets are primed to ‘crowd out,’ or cannibalize, personal-computer sales because they can perform a lot of the same tasks but are cheaper and fit better with an on-the-go lifestyle.

The industry has only a few of the slate-style computers on offer at the moment, most prominently Apple’s (ticker: AAPL) iPad and Samsung Electronics’ (A005930.Korea) Galaxy Tab.

But dozens of companies have announced or are expected to release tablet computers of one sort or another in the coming months, ranging from Archos (JXR.France), a maker of chunky, brick-like portable video players, to ViewSonic, a maker of computer monitors.

The CEO of Acer (2353.Taiwan), currently No. 2 in PC sales, was quoted on Friday boasting the company will dominate tablet sales a couple of years from now.

And so the Street has been busy assembling models: On Monday, Citigroup’s team of analysts covering computers, software and semiconductors put out a report saying there will be 35 million tablet computers sold in 2011, with Apple’s iPad accounting for three quarters of the total, compared with almost 400 million PCs sold.”

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