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Report: Tablets Will Overtake PC Shipments in Q4

Tablet shipments will start to surpass PC shipments in the fourth quarter of this year, according to IDC's latest analysis, announced on Wednesday.

The decline of PCs (defined as desktops plus portables) is coinciding with the growth in tablet and smartphone shipments. PC shipments will continue to exceed tablet shipments this year. However, those PC numbers eventually will get surpassed by tablet shipments by the end of 2015, according to IDC's "Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker" report.

In 2013, IDC is forecasting a market share of 20.2 percent for PCs, with tablets at 14.6 percent and smartphones at 65.1 percent. However, by 2017, PC shipments will be at just 13 percent. They will be overtaken by tablets at 16.5 percent, while smartphone shipments will predominate at 70.5 percent.

IDC sees smartphones with larger screens eating into the tablet market. Smartphones with five-inch screens will take market share away from tablets with small screens of about seven-to-eight inches.

"The device world has seen several iterations of cannibalization impacting different categories, with the last few years focused on tablets cannibalizing PC sales," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president for clients and displays at IDC, in a released statement. "Over the next 12-18 months, however, we believe the larger smartphones, commonly called 'phablets,' will start to eat into the smaller-size tablet market, contributing to a slower growth rate for tablets."

IDC is predicting an overall decrease in the growth rate of the global smart connected device market for this year to 27.8 percent, down from 30.3 percent in 2012. The research and consulting firm also expects to see a decrease in the average selling price of devices. The average price will dip to $323 in 2017, down from $462 in 2012, according to IDC.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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