It's clear that the traditional PC market is now in decline. Shipment numbers earlier this month showed yet another drop for the traditional PC, and though smaller notebooks such as Google's Chromebooks are gaining traction, notebook sales are heavily declining as well.
The tablet market, on the other hand, shows now signs of slowing, despite a recent slow quarter. Industry analyst NPD DisplaySearch today predicted that tablet shipments will rise to 364 million units sometime next year. That number would more than double predicted 2014 shipments of traditional notebook PCs (177 million units)
“The PC market is clearly shifting away from notebooks and toward tablets,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst at DisplaySearch. “Supply chain indications reveal that previously planned production of notebook PCs is being pulled back due to declining adoption and that brands are gradually increasing the number of tablet PC models in their product mixes. Panel and finished goods suppliers are also increasing production of displays and other components for tablets in order to keep up with the market changes.”
The rising tablet market, according to DisplaySearch, is being fueled by tablet adoption in developing markets, such as China. The analyst firm predicts that new tablets with 8-inch and 7.5-inch screens will soon become a larger part of the tablet market, and that tablets with screens smaller than 8-inches will accounts for over 60% of the tablet market by 2015. Total tablet shipments are expected to reach 589 million by 2017.
“Smaller tablets are important, because they will encourage adoption in emerging regions,” said Shim. “Smaller screen sizes translate to lower priced tablet-PC options, since display panels tend to comprise just over a third of the total cost of a tablet, which makes them attractive in price-sensitive markets.”