Tablet Market to Overtake PCs & Notebooks Combined


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The low cost and high usability of tablets has for some time now been taking sales away from more traditional PCs. The PC and notebook markets are now experiencing quarter after quarter of declining shipment numbers. Now, market research firm Canalys is showing just how dominant tablet technology has become.

The firm this week released predictions showing that tablets will make up nearly half of the total global PC market, in which it also includes traditional PCs and notebooks. This means that almost exactly as many tablets are expected to ship next year (285 million) as total combined shipments for desktops and notebooks. Shipments will keep increasing, with predictions hitting 396 million tablets shipped in the year 2017.

Canalys numbers currently put tablets at 40% of the PC market for the third quarter of 2013. Though competition is becoming fierce at the low end of the market and in emerging markets, the firm predicts that Samsung and Apple will continue to dominate the segment for years to come. The firm also points out as others have that while Apple is losing market share to competitors with a wider selection of tablets, the company's premium pricing is keeping its revenue higher than that of competitors.

“Apple’s decline in PC market share is unavoidable when considering its business model," said Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys. "Samsung narrowly took the lead in EMEA this quarter and Apple will lose its position to competitors in more markets in the future. However, Apple is one of the few companies making money from the tablet boom. Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics.”

(Image courtesy Apple)