Report: Tablet shipments will surpass PCs by year's end [Austin American-Statesman]
(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 11--The rise of smart mobile devices has bludgeoned the personal computer industry this year, and there appears to be little relief in sight.
International Data Corp., which tracks the markets for both PC and mobile devices, says tablet shipments are expected to pass global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of this year. By 2015, it said, tablet shipments will exceed PC shipments for the entire year.
IDC calls the combined market for PCs, smartphones and tablets, the "smart connected device" market, which it expects will account for 1.56 billion in unit shipments this year -- just over 1 billion smartphones, 227 million tablets and 315 million personal computers.
The entire market is expected to expand to 2.46 billion units in 2017, an increase of 58 percent, but almost all the growth will come from increased tablet and smartphone sales.
The total value of the combined market is estimated to be $622 billion this year.
The arrival of more smartphones and tablets priced below $350 will spur the next round of growth for those devices, said IDC analyst Megha Saini. "The emergence of lower-priced devices will be a game-changer," he said.
By 2017, the total value of the combined market is expected to be $735 billion, IDC said, but prices will continue to fall. It expects the average selling prices for all those devices, including PCs, will be $323 in 2017, down $462 last year.
The trend appears to put increased pressure on company's like Round Rock-based Dell Inc., which are strong players in the PC market but far weaker in mobile devices.
"It is still tough for Dell, HP and almost all the PC vendors," said IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell. "They are still struggling with the tablet market. The only things we are seeing sell in the tablet market are (Apple's) iPads and Androids and the Androids are super-cheap. Windows-based tablets have not been doing very well at all. The problem is price, it is functionality, it is Windows 8 and the lack of applications. It is all those things combined."
Despite the pressure on the PC industry, O'Donnell said that the demand for personal computers will level off over time because those devices still can do many more functions than a tablet.
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