Forrester just released a report called Tablets Will Rule the Future Personal Computing Landscape. In it they forecast that tablets will become the primary computing device for most users within the next four years.
From a forecasting standpoint that's a pretty bold statement - especially given the short time frame of only 4 years.
In terms of numbers, Forrester is saying 375 million tablets will be sold globally in 2016. This is almost twice the forecast (200 million) that IDC currently has.
A Computer World article on the forecast explains why Forrester thinks tablets will become the central personal computing device:
... they are easy to use and share; portable; have all-day battery life; and are flexible for both content consumption and creative and productive work, the Forrester report said.
One of the more interesting forecasts is the advent of something Forrester calls "Frames". These are wireless docking stations that have sensors, processing power and displays that can be connected to smartphones and tablets. According to the Computer World article:
Frames will be stationed in meeting rooms, coffee shops and more, Forrester said. Tablets used with frames will substitute for laptops in significant volume, the report said.
Despite our misgivings about tablets as content creation tools, we agree they are great content consumption devices. And since content consumption has become the main use of computers, we're on board with Forrester's forecast.