Tablets to outship desktops this year, notebooks next year

By on March 26, 2013, 5:30 PM

According to the latest data from IDC, global shipments of smart connected devices exceeded a billion units in 2012, an increase of 29.1% from the previous year and representing a value of $576.9 billion. Although plenty of smartphones and other "smart" electronics were moved last year, the researcher notes that the market's growth was largely thanks to a 78.4% on-year boost in tablet shipments, which topped 128 million units.

That's a pretty significant slice of the computing pie if you exclude smartphones from the billion devices and IDC expects interest in slates to continue for the foreseeable future. Tablets are due to outship desktops in 2013 and notebooks in 2014, while both of those PC segments will either lose ground or see relatively flat growth. The desktop market is expected to shrink consistently through 2017, when growth is expected to be -1%.

All told, IDC forecasts that companies will shift 190 million tablets worldwide this year, which would mark an annual growth of 48.7%, while smartphones shipments are expected to swell by 27.2% to 918.5 million units. Looking further ahead, the researcher says smart connected devices will reach shipments of 2.2 billion units and revenues of $814.3 billion in 2017, with tablet and smartphone growth tapering to 9.8% and 8.5%.

The analyst firm also touched on the latest market share rankings of Apple and Samsung. The iDevice maker is said to have "significantly closed the gap" with Samsung in the last quarter of 2012 after moving plenty of iPhone 5s and iPad Minis, which pushed Apple's unit shipment share up to 20.3% -- just behind Samsung's 21.2% cut. However, Apple represented a larger slice of the quarter's revenue at 30.7% versus 20.4%.

User Comments: 7

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St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Well, yeah. They're cheaper, disposable, more accessible. Average lifetime is also probably more than halved. It's to be expected.

1 person liked this | RH00D RH00D said:

I find this not surprising. Majority of people already own a desktop or laptop. Tablets to the masses are very "new" and majority of people don't own one. So it is only logical that majority of people will buy a tablet for the first or second time rather than replace their existing desktop with another desktop.

But I think people will still use their desktop/laptop more often than not.

Guest said:

Most on techspot used to say "they are just a fad" :)

RzmmDX said:

Most on techspot used to say "they are just a fad"

Still a fad. Tabphones are the future!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Yeah well, this is a grand testimonial to the amount of inbreeding that's going on in our species.

Leave it to Madison Avenue. Pretty soon they'll have people convinced they need an iPad to control their Mac Desktop, so they can use it to change the channel on their iTV......

Guest said:

People buy cheaper products than more expensive products? You don't say.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

In 2010 tablets just getting in the mainstream. More tablets sold in 2011. In 2012 more owned a tablet. Now 2013 tablets are much more faster, better CPU offerings and more RAM. But you all do understand this is what going to be it soon. Desktops and laptops will be history one day. Tablet can replace both even today can connect to HDTV, external HDD, blue tooth wireless keyboard and mouse. Android and Windows tablets this is where most will be heading. Apple that's another venture for those that are using Apple gear. In the Star Trek Series Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager all use some sort of hand held tablet. So you know it was coming to be.

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