The traditional computing platforms, such as the desktops, laptops and notebook devices, face a continual threat from tablet PCs. However, new research from Gartner in this field has come up with some startling facts. What has emerged as the central theme is that consumers have always wanted the tablet PC for their everyday computing needs, but had been forced to make do with other forms such as PCs or notebooks in the absence of tablets. Now with a fairly mature tablet market in existence, no wonder tablets are all set to outsell the others with recent findings on this pointing out it could happen as early as next year. Garnet is predicting even better times for tablets so that they are expected to outsell desktops by a massive 72 percent in just three years time. The change in trend is most likely permanent, so PCs are firmly on the way out and tablets are the latest in thing.
For those who prefer hardcore figures, 2.4 billion computing devices will be sold in 2013, which includes PCs, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and so on. This marks a 9 percent growth over 2012. The figure will rise to 2.9 billion by 2017, though what would be most interesting is the change in the buying patterns of individual device segments. For instance, desktops are already showing a decline of 7.6 percent in 2013 over the previous year, so that 315 million of these found buyers in 2013. The only silver lining here is the ultramobiles, such as the Surface Pros, which showed positive growth so that 23.6 million units are expected to be sold in 2013, a healthy growth of over 9.8 million in 2012. Compare these to 197 million tablets likely to be sold in 2013, which marks an impressive 69.8 percent growth over the 116 million tablets sold in 2012. That is predicted to rise to 468 million in 2017, while the same for PCs is expected to dip to 272 million.
As for the choice of platform, Google’s Android has emerged as the clear winner, followed by Windows and iOS. Gartner though is predicting marginal growth for Blackberry, which means its woes might not be over soon.
“Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update, and consumers’ addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner before also adding, “Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC.”