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Tablet sales expected to soar in 2013, pushing PCs to edge of oblivion

A customer examines a Nook e-reader at a Barnes and Noble store in Boston, March 18, 2011. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Tablets are killing PCs softly (with their song).

Tablet shipments are expected to grow by almost 70 percent in 2013, sending desktop and laptop computer shipments on a “nosedive.”

Research firm Gartner predicted that the worldwide sale of devices, including PCs, tablets, and mobile phones, will increase by 5.9 percent in 2013 and hit 2.35 billion units. Tablets and smartphones are the driving this growth, while PC sales are expected to total 305 million units– a decline of 10.6 percent. Tablet sales are likely to eclipse PCs by 2015.

Tablets are like hot young starlets edging out the older competition. They are mobile, cost-effective and provide the degree of instant gratification that consumers these days demand. Furthermore, startups from a range of sectors are building beautiful, sleek apps designed just for tablets, which are in many ways better suited to media, social media, e-commerce, and education than PCs or mobile phones.

Research vice president Carolina Milanesi said that consumers want the ability to consume, create, and share content anytime and anywhere. Even within the tablet spectrum, there are changes. Consumers are shifting away from premium tablets to basic tablets and ultramobiles devices (like Chromebooks) are on the rise.

Android is currently the dominant operating system across all devices and Gartner predicts that this will continue to be the case.  Ninety percent of Android sales are in the mobile phone maker, while eighty-five percent of Microsoft sales are for PCs, and Apple has a strong presence across all devices.

Tablets were written off as a fad when they first came out and many say that they will never replace PCs. However they have proved to be remarkably convenient whether you are casually browsing for a little black dress or out in field conducting sales calls. The bring-your-own device (BYOD) movement is gaining momentum and companies are looking for and building software to adapt mobile devices to the enterprise world. The outlook for PC makers is not good. Tablets are on the rise, strumming PC pain with their fingers.

To learn more about where users are behaving on the mobile web, check out the “Digital lifestyle: Curating context in a connected world” track at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference, July 9-10.

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat



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