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Tablet sales to overtake PCs this quarter

Tablets

By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 12 Sep 2013 at 10:50

More tablets will ship than desktops or laptops combined in the fourth quarter of this year, analyst firm IDC has predicted.

But more PCs than tablets will ship over the course of the year, IDC said, saying tablets won't out-ship PCs for a full year until 2015.

The analyst firm didn't breakdown numbers for its fourth-quarter prediction, but said 134.4 million desktops and 180.9 million laptops would ship in 2013, versus 227.3 million tablets.

More than a billion smartphones will ship this year, with IDC putting the final number at 1,013.2 million for 2013.

IDC lumps the four categories together as "smart connected devices", giving smartphones two-thirds of the market. With smartphones removed from the equation, tablets nabbed 42% of shipments in 2013.

IDC expects tablets to surpass PC sales by 2015, but didn't give a breakdown of its shipment prediction for that year. For 2017, it expects desktop shipments to slide to 123 million, laptops to climb to 196.6 million, and tablets to climb by 79% to 406.8 million. By that year, IDC predicts 1,733.9 million smartphones to ship.

While growth rates remain strong, IDC pointed out that smartphones and tablets were also facing market saturation, hit by lower cost smartphones and budget tablets. The analyst firm predicted that for 2013 two-thirds of shipments would be from smartphones and tablets costing less than $350.

"At a time when the smartphone and tablet markets are showing early signs of saturation, the emergence of lower-priced devices will be a game-changer," said Megha Saini, research analyst at IDC.

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User comments

Such a worthless statistic

Scooters outsell bikes. The bike is dead!

Oh, hang on. They're not the same thing, used for the same purpose or by the same people.

Another example of adding 2 and 2 and making 5. For the headlines.

By cheysuli on 12 Sep 2013

@cheysuli

I think you're sticking your head in the sand.

There's no doubt in my mind that a lot of those tablet sales are replacements for laptops. People are realising that if all they do is surf facebook, read a few emails and generally browse they don't need a laptop, or indeed a PC.
You and I might not like it, but that's the way the world is a changin!

But the silver lining could be that friends and relatives who frankly should never have been let within a million miles of a PC will no longer be ringing us up because some nasty ransomware has locked them out ;-)

By rjp2000 on 12 Sep 2013

@rjp2000

No more support calls. Exactly. Thank goodness for Windows RT. Saving users from themselves and corps side loading different browsers. I'm looking at you Adobe; trying to sneak Chrome on as the default browser in your weekly updates.

By stephen_d_morris on 12 Sep 2013

@rjp2000

Thing is, everyone who I know who has a tablet (mostly iPad admittedly) also has either a PC or laptop. A device that doesn't need replacing because it's more than up to the current job.

When those PC's expire from old age, it cannot be said that people will just switch to using the tablets, because from viewing a Flash website to writing a CD, to playing real games, a PC is required. A tablet just can't do the job.

When tablets CAN do all that PC's can, then they will have become PC's... but can you really see than happening?
And while some people prefer tablets to PC's for ease of use, the people who said "That new-fangled technology isn't for me" about PC's say much the same about tablets.

They might have cannibalised the net-book market but while PC users aren't upgrading, they aren't moving to tablets either.

By cheysuli on 12 Sep 2013

I don't disagree but...

there are a whole raft of users who have no idea what Flash is, would never burn a DVD or CD and don't play heavy weight games. For them, a tablet really can be a PC replacement - for these users, a PC was way overkill in the first place, so the more limited functionality of a tablet isn't an issue.

By rjp2000 on 12 Sep 2013

Netbook replacement?

If Chromebook were cannibalising the netbook market then sales wouldn't make double digits.
There is a entire "I don't need windows" market emerging which includes chromebook for those who want a keyboard. With everything in the cloud, what is a DVD drive for?

By milliganp on 12 Sep 2013

Yeah cheysuli, you've picked out things that a tablet can't do without thinking through whether 'most' people would do that anyway. People don't burn CDs that much anymore, music is stored in the cloud and on smartphones. Flash websites are more or less dead and a tablet user will just move somewhere else if they can't use a site moaning about the website rather than the device.
Of course there are going to be people that need a laptop, I do because I'm a developer but when I want to kick back and browse the web I use a tablet. I know of many people that have a tablet and a PC and do not start their PC at all anymore.
I think it's wishful thinking that tablets have only cannibalised the netbook market. Laptops will always have a market but the tablet market will be a bigger one and for obvious reasons.

By TimoGunt on 12 Sep 2013

PC Users on Hold

As a wrinkly PC user with a good disposable income I want to upgrade. I want a large screen I can see and good audio I can hear. I want to be able to do my accounts, compile documents and edit images/video. Email and streaming sports video a must too. A large keyboard for clunky fingers and a number pad too. I don't want/need touch-screen.
MS ignored me, perhaps billions of basic business users and desk top manufacturers with their W8.
I walk into stores and out again - only W8 on display (touch screen or not).
I have looked at tablets - not for me. If W8.1 works for me and my legacy programmes then the desktop builders will have a customer again. Otherwise I will make do with W7 and old gear.
MS's lack of consideration for a customer base reeks of arrogance and know-better attitude.
This from a user since their platform was 3.

By cja4sun on 15 Sep 2013

PC Users on Hold

As a wrinkly PC user with a good disposable income I want to upgrade. I want a large screen I can see and good audio I can hear. I want to be able to do my accounts, compile documents and edit images/video. Email and streaming sports video a must too. A large keyboard for clunky fingers and a number pad too. I don't want/need touch-screen.
MS ignored me, perhaps billions of basic business users and desk top manufacturers with their W8.
I walk into stores and out again - only W8 on display (touch screen or not).
I have looked at tablets - not for me. If W8.1 works for me and my legacy programmes then the desktop builders will have a customer again. Otherwise I will make do with W7 and old gear.
MS's lack of consideration for a customer base reeks of arrogance and know-better attitude.
This from a user since their platform was 3.

By cja4sun on 15 Sep 2013

PC Users on Hold

As a wrinkly PC user with a good disposable income I want to upgrade. I want a large screen I can see and good audio I can hear. I want to be able to do my accounts, compile documents and edit images/video. Email and streaming sports video a must too. A large keyboard for clunky fingers and a number pad too. I don't want/need touch-screen.
MS ignored me, perhaps billions of basic business users and desk top manufacturers with their W8.
I walk into stores and out again - only W8 on display (touch screen or not).
I have looked at tablets - not for me. If W8.1 works for me and my legacy programmes then the desktop builders will have a customer again. Otherwise I will make do with W7 and old gear.
MS's lack of consideration for a customer base reeks of arrogance and know-better attitude.
This from a user since their platform was 3.

By cja4sun on 15 Sep 2013

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