Shipments of mobile tablets will surpass those of portable PCs this year and will top all PC sales combined within the next two years.
Research firm IDC has predicted that over the 2013 calendar year tablet vendors will ship approximately 229.3 million units. The figure would represent by far a record annual haul for tablets, easily surpassing 2012's total of 144.5 million units shipped.
Conversely, researchers see PC sales falling for the second consecutive year as consumers and business users opt for the tablet form-factor over notebooks. IDC predicts that portable PCs will be outsold for the first time this year by tablets as the market continues to dry up.
By 2015 tablet shipments are set to surpass those of both desktop and notebook PCs combined for the first time ever. Additionally, the analysts project that tablet prices will continue to drop while PCs on average will become more expensive for users.
IDC mobility tracker program manager Ryan Reith said: “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."
By 2017, researchers believe that changes will take place within the tablet market itself as well. Once just a 27 percent piece of the market, analysts project that sub-8in tablets will become the favourite form-factor in 2013, claiming a 55 percent share and growing to a 57 percent cut of the market by 2017.
Meanwhile larger 8-11in tablets, which claimed a 73 percent chunk of the market in 2011, will decline to just 37 percent of tablet shipments by 2017.
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