International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, has reported that tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7% year-over-year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC now projects that tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year. The PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second consecutive year. IDC expects tablet shipments will outpace the entire PC market (laptops and desktops combined) by 2015.
Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers is quoted as saying “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. Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them. IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”
The IDC report goes on to say; While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices.
Jitesh Ubrani, IDC Research Analyst stated; “Apple’s success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device.
“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.”
Another major shift in the tablet market is in screen sizes. The first generation iPad, with a 9.7-inch display, was the sweet spot for tablets. Then the 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple then introduced the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in just 6 months the sub-8-inch has dominated in total shipments.
It’s inevitable that tablets will become the dominant way people get online. Mobile devices, including smartphones are the future, and like it or not the old home PC looks to be going the way of the old console TV. Time marches on!