Tablets to outsell laptop, desktop computers by year’s end
By Jay Keller
As it turns out, however, consumers will soon be wondering who actually owns a laptop.
A new forecast of the technology market predicts that tablet shipments will outpace PC shipments by the fourth quarter of 2013, possibly signaling the beginning of the end of the PC era.
Research from International Data Corporation (IDP) finds that overall the worldwide market for smartphones, tablets and personal computers will grow nearly 28 percent by the end of 2013, a number that is slightly below the 30-percent growth in 2012.
The year-over-year decline, according to IDP, comes from a 10-percent decrease in the PC shipping outlook for 2013.
Analysts say that overall the smart-connected device market will continue to grow thanks to a growing consumer demand for tablets and smartphones over desktop and laptop computers.
“Smartphones will continue to ship in high volumes, surpassing 1.4 billion units in 2015 and accounting for 69% of all smart connected device shipments worldwide,” IDP said in a statement.
Total shipments of desktops and laptops next year are still expected to top tablet shipments but IDC says 2014 will be the last year PC shipments outpace tablets and smartphones on an annual basis.
IDC also expects that the makers of smartphones and tablets will offer lower-cost devices to help drive interest worldwide, something that will add to market saturation.
“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 IDC Research Analyst Megha Saini.
As such, the revenue forecast reflects the impact of low-cost devices in a saturated market.
“Introducing new handsets and tablet devices at cheaper price points along with special initiatives like trade-in programs from Apple and Best Buy will accelerate the upgrade cycle and expand the total addressable market overnight,” Saini adds.
Revenues from smart-connected devices are valued at $622.4 billion by the end of 2013 while $423.1 billion will come from smartphones and tablets priced below $350 each.
This is good news for the consumer since the shift in demand from the expensive PC category to more reasonably-priced smartphones and tablets will drive the average selling price from $462 in 2012 to $323 by 2017.