The PC market as we have known it is collapsing.Next year, tablet sales will beat notebook sales for the first time ever, says NPD’s DisplaySearch.
It is projecting tablet shipments of 240 million units versus notebook shipments of 203 million units. That’s 64 per cent growth for tablet versus a 5 per cent decline for notebooks.
NPD analyst Richard Shim tells us that tablets are replacing notebooks because people think they’re more convenient. “Tablets turn on instantly, they’re more portable,” he says. While tablets aren’t as good for typing, they have touch, swipe, and voice, which help to make up for lack of traditional inputs like a keyboard.
He also says the rise of the tablet is being driven by changes within the PC industry. There is more investment in tablets from major tech companies, which is driving down component pricing, which is driving down the average selling price of each tablet.
As tablets get cheaper, they become compelling to consumers as “complimentary devices,” says Shim.
This is good news for the PC business, since tablets aren’t yet destroying the PC business. They are secondary devices, says Shim.
But, it’s not that simple. In mature markets, the PC is saturated. And that’s where tablets are secondary devices. Shim says in emerging markets tablets are going to be primary devices. If the tablet takes off there, that kills the traditional PC’s chances of ever growing again.