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Tablets to leave PCs in the dust in 2015, says IDC

Posted: 30 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Portable PCs? PC market? tablets? android? apple?

In a recent report by the International Data Corporation(IDC), tablet shipments are expected to grow by 58.7 per cent year over year in 2013, reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC predicts that tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, with the PC market continuing to slump for the second consecutive year. The market research firm also expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015.

"What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor," remarked Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's mobile trackers. Reith also noted how tablets continue to surpass portables in 2013 and total PCs in 2015, marking a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and applications and the ecosystems that power them. IDC still believes that PCs still have an important role among business users. However, for consumers, the tablet has become a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fuelled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8 per cent to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635. IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.


Figure 1: Worldwide Tablet and PC Forecast, 2013Q1, Units.
Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, May 28, 2013.

"Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for the worldwide quarterly tablet tracker. "These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child," added Ubrani.

In addition to lower prices, another major shift in the tablet market has occurred around screen sizes. Apple's first generation iPad, which included a 9.7-inch display, was perceived by many as the sweet spot for tablets. That is, until 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple responded with the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.

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