IDC: Tablets to Outsell Desktops This Year, Laptops Next

According to researcher IDC, tablet sales improved 78.4% worldwide in 2012 and are on track to improve 48.7% this year to 190 million units sold.

In data released this week, the firm also predicts that tablets will be the fastest-growing device category between now and 2017, outselling desktop PCs this year and laptops beginning in 2014. Overall, IDC expects the market for connected devices to grow 8.5% annually over the next five years, and that's despite slowing growth in PC sales.

"In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs," said Megha Saini, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker, in a press release. "The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales."

Other key findings and predictions from the report:

  • Worldwide, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) claimed 20.3% of connected device shipments -- and 30.7% of revenue -- in the fourth quarter. Samsung was the volume leader and ranked second in revenue share.

  • Emerging markets led growth last year. Overall shipments rose 41.3% in 2012 while tablet shipments more than doubled. Smartphone sales improved 69.7% in emerging markets.

  • The worldwide market for connected devices grew 29.7% in 2012 and will advance 21.2% this year. By 2017, IDC predicts the total market will surpass 2.2 million devices sold, resulting in $814.3 billion in revenue.


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  • Report this Comment On March 27, 2013, at 7:24 PM, TheRealRacc wrote:

    Tablets will outsell desktops and laptops in 2014...

    This analysis is all fine and dandy until people realize that "tablets" are actually PCs. Tablets are a form factor, not a device. Tablets have slowly but surely been transforming into "mini laptops" or whatever we might call them in 2017. But the point remains - people are buying mobile PCs, not "tablets".

    A game of semantics throws off an entire industry.

    Long INTC, MSFT - but only if you want to be a part of "tablet" explosion. Wait, those companies don't make tablets....

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 7:50 AM, krios20 wrote:

    The <a href="">... almost came out of nowhere, and I think they will continue to surprise us. I think they will outsell PC's a lot faster than 2017, because they will grow faster than expected, and also because PC's will fall faster than expected, too.

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