Analysis Group Predicts Tablets Will Outsell Their Desktop Rivals In 2015
May 28, 2013

Analysis Group Predicts Tablets Will Outsell Their Desktop Rivals In 2015

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

It´s time for yet another update on the ongoing tablet versus PC war, and according to data firm IDC, the tablet continues to dominate the battle. According to the firm's newest forecast, tablet shipments look to outpace all PC shipments by 2015.

The analytics firm also predicts tablet shipments will grow by nearly 59 percent by year´s end. According to the latest figures, tablet makers around the world like Apple and Samsung managed to ship 144.5 million devices last year. IDC now predicts the same tablet makers will be able to ship 229.3 million units by December 31, 2013.

Meanwhile, previous IDC forecasts about the PC market show that not only have shipments been trending downward for several quarters, but numbers have finally reached an all time low since 2006. This poor performance was enough to send IDC analysts to call the situation “dismal” before noting that Windows 8 may have helped contribute to slowing sales.

Ryan Reith, a program manager for IDC´s Mobility Trackers says these changes are indicative of a shifting attitude towards computing.

"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," says Reith. "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.”

Reith isn´t so quick to sign the PC´s death notice, however. He and others believe PCs will continue to have an important role in the “new era of computing.” Most notably, PCs remain a necessity for any developer looking to write apps for these new tablet machines.

“But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC,” says Reith.

The new IDC report also mentions Apple´s role in both creating the new tablet market and building a device so elegant and easy to use that people would want to buy these new devices. The new report also parrots previous reports from the same analyst firm. IDC has before claimed that devices eight inches or smaller are becoming more popular amongst tablet buyers than the 10-inch size of the traditional iPad. Additionally, Android tablets have been presenting consumers with cheaper options, creating a shift in leadership in this market.

Today´s IDC report claims these lower-priced Android tablets will not only eat into Apple´s marketshare, they´ll also bring the average selling price (ASP) of all tablets around the world down by nearly 11 percent. This could also add another nail in the PC´s proverbial coffin; by the end of 2013, the ASP for tablets is expected to reach $381 while an average PC sells for around $635. PC makers have been looking to reach these price points for years and even came close with netbooks, though this market has all but fizzled out.

Closing out the report, Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, says tablets have succeeded by becoming an all-things-to-all-people device capable of handling a multitude of chores.

"Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," says Ubrani. "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."