Tablet shipments to pass laptop shipments this year: IDC

More data has been released confirming what we already know: tablets are still hot.

A new forecast from research firm IDC Corp. predicts worldwide tablet shipments will surpass portable PC shipments this year, and total PC shipments in 2015. IDC forecasts tablet shipments will grow by 58.7 per cent in 2013 to reach 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units the year before.

“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,” said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers, in a statement. “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.”

Apple remains a technological leader, but IDC is crediting the tablet growth primarily to the proliferation of low-cost Android devices. The Android phenomenon is helping to lower the worldwide average selling price for a tablet by 10.8 per cent this year, to $381. IDC expects further tablet price declines, widening the potential market.

“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 IDC’s worldwide quarterly tablet tracker, in a statement. “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.”

With the launch of Apple’s iPad Mini, a shift in tablet screen size is also occurring. In 2011, 73 per cent of tablets shipped were between eight and 11”, compared to 27 per cent under eight inches. That will flip this year, with 55 per cent of tablets shipped expected to be under eight inches.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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