As tablet sales continue to close in on PC sales, an NPD DisplaySearch report now predicts that tablet shipments will overtake PC notebook deliveries by the end of 2013. The report shows that tablet computer shipments are expected to reach more than 240 million units in 2013, beating out the 207 million expected of traditional notebooks.
NPD cites the diversification of the tablet market as one of the strongest trend drivers due to the greater number of tablets available in a variety of sizes and prices. The decline in the notebook market is also contributing to the shift in sales. Demand for PC notebooks has been slowly falling around the world, just as demand for tablets has been growing. China is expected to claim 27 percent of the tablet market in 2013, and NPD expects emerging market demand to embrace smaller, seven- to eight-inch screens for their lower costs. With around 35 percent of world tablet share, North America is predicted to remain the leader of the global market.
One problem notebooks have is a lack of growth in emerging markets. As the report referenced, emerging markets such as India, Brazil and China have all demonstrated enormous potential for electronics sales in recent years. The mobile and laptop markets had a chance to see increased sales, but both entered emerging markets around the same time. When faced with an equal choice of tablets or PCs, buyers in the younger markets gravitated to tablets and smartphones.
The report offers hope for the notebook market, stating that new processors available in notebook PCs in the second half of the year have the power to deliver tablet-like features, including all-day battery life, instant on technology and a more appealing look. However, even a resurgence in the laptop market will not be enough to hold off tablet sales past the end of the year.
As more tablets enter the market and PC makers attempt to reinvent the laptop to maintain their market share, consumers can expect an increasing range of device options. Competition this fierce is typically good for the buyer, but in this case recalcitrant consumers must grow used to living in a tablet world.
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