There’s an article at CNET by Michael Singer about the increasing popularity of ‘convertible’ Tablet PCs – Those tablets that sport a keyboard and whose display flips around to allow the user to use it as a touchscreen tablet or as a laptop:
….shipments of the products are expected to hit 9.7 million units by 2008. That’s up 708 percent from the 1.2 million units expected to ship this year, according to a forecast by market researchers at IDC. Convertible notebooks are expected to make up the majority of those shipments, IDC said.
A large part of this is due to the price of the displays dropping, as well as some high-profile laptop/tablet hybrids shipping this year – among them, notably the Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPad X41 Tablet, and the Fujitsu LifeBook P1510/P1510D, both of which have garnered a fair amount of PR and positive reviews. As you have more positive PR, you’ll sell more, which will drop the price of the displays, which will cause even more to be sold, and well, you get the picture. The article points out that it would still be less than 10% of the market share within a few years, but I think going from 0% to 2% to upto %10 within the span of 5-6 years (rough guess) is not exactly something that can be ignored.