The number of tablet shipments should surpass those of laptops this year. In just two years, the number should surpass those of all PCs, according to a new IDC survey.
During 2013, IDC expects to see tablet shipments reach 229.3 million units. This compares to 144.5 million recorded last year.
According to Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers:
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.
Although Apple is credited for being at the “forefront of the tablet revolution,” lower-cost Android devices are what is fueling the current market expansion. As a result, the average price of a tablet has dropped by 10.8 percent year over year to $381.
IDC also says that the arrival of smaller tablets has also been a driving force. In two quarters, the sub-8-inch category “exploded” to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments. In 2011, tablets between 8-11 inches accounted for 73 percent of total sales. This year, that number has dropped to 43 percent. By 2017, that number is expected to fall even further to 37 percent.
Interestingly enough, IDC expects that the percentage of users buying tablets 11-inches and larger will grow in the coming years. In a market that didn’t exist two years ago, larger tablet sales should hit 2 percent of the total market this year, and 6 percent by 2017. Apple is rumored to be working on an “iPad maxi,” for release in 2014.