According to the new “Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report” from NPD DisplaySearch (http://www.displaysearch.com), mobile computer shipments — think tablets — are forecast to grow from 347 million units in 2012 to over 809 million units by 2017.

A key driver for tablet growth is adoption in mature markets, which will account for 66% of shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60% range throughout the forecast period. In particular, tablet shipments are driving the growth of the mobile computer market.

Specifically, tablets which will exceed notebook shipments in 2016 as mature market will continue to carry tablet adoption throughout the forecast period, according to DisplaySearch. The tablet market is expected to increase from 121 million units in 2012 to 416 million by 2017.

The five year CAGR [compound annual growth rate] for tablet shipments is projected to reach 28% driven by mature market growth. Tablet shipments into mature markets will grow from 80 million in 2012 to 254 million by 2017, according to DisplaySearch. Mature markets will account for 66% of tablet shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60% rangeĀ  throughout the forecast period.

Tablets are expected to evolve in form factor and performance to complement its convenience-oriented features, including instant-on capability, long battery life, and extreme portability, making them a compelling alternative to notebooks, says according to DisplaySearch. In addition, tablets are expected to incorporate multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries, and higher resolution panels, adds the research group.