laptop-vs-tabletAccording to new data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the number of tablets to be shipped during the last quarter of this year will exceed the total number of PCs (desktops plus laptops) shipping in the same period. But this doesn’t mean that more tablets are being sold then PCs, not yet. At the moment the predicted Q4 2013 tablets shipments are a bump in the road, a significant bump, but a bump none-the-less. It is estimated that total PC sales for the year will still exceed those of tablets, but tablets are catching up fast and by 2015 tablet shipments will overtake PC shipments.

Smartphones are continuing to sell in high volumes and IDC calculate that 1.4 billion handsets will be sold during 2015. Taking PCs (including laptops and notebooks), smartphones and tablets as a whole, smartphones account for around 69 percent of shipments worldwide while tablets account for around 14 percent. The remaining 17 percent are PCs. However over the next few years tablet market share is expected to increase while PC sales decrease. Smartphone market share is expected to remain constant but the actual number of devices sold will increase as the market size increases.

IDC Smart Connected Device Forecast Q4 2013

What is interesting is that the research shows that the key to further success in the tablet market will be lower-priced devices. The IDC forecasts that lower-cost devices will boost overall tablet sales and could also spark interest in new sectors like education. However the popularity of smartphones with screens over 5 inches could eat away at tablet sales as consumers choose to use one device, a 5+ inch smartphone, rather than a smaller smartphone plus a tablet.

What about you? If you had the money to buy either a laptop or a tablet, which would you get?

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
  • Gregory Opera

    I’d have a laptop, the fancy Sony VAIO Duo in fact… I can do a lot more with more computer, and it’s far better in the home office than any tablet.

    Tablets have their place, but the PC has a lot of life left in it yet…

    • GasparIPerez

      I bought an Acer Iconia W700 a couple of weeks ago and all I can say is that I’m more than happy with it. It is just great, not because it is a tablet, but because it has the power and possibilities of a fully functioning windows laptop. I think hybrid devices (tablets+laptops) are going to take over the market, hopefully soon.

      • End in sight

        I could not agree more. We all need a smartphone, plus a keyboard and a portable screen. hybrids solve this.

      • Gregory Opera

        Ubuntu’s upcoming smartphone is effectively a computer in your pocket… Basically you have a dock at your desk with a keyboard and whatnot connected to the dock – you “dock” your Ubuntu smartphone and bazinga, instant (Ubuntu-powered) PC!

        This sort of functionality is obviously targeted at higher-end smartphones, but it effectively means that you have a powerful smartphone whilst on the move, and a full-fledged computer at your desk, with the data natively shared between the two…

    • chadRlowe

      A new-series of Android tablets to launch this week are powered by Intel’s performance Atom Z2580 Clover Trail processor, which offers Hyper-Threading technology.

      Ramos Technology is one of the better-known China based Android tablet manufacturers and has introduced the I-Series with 8″, 9″ and 10″ models… which offer very competitive pricing and solid features, including high resolution displays, all starting at about $200.

      Intel’s new processor with Hyper-Threading technology runs four threads simultaneously and scores well compared to other mainstream quad-core tablets.

      The i9 model features a 1900×1200 display (Samsung brand screen) and offers impressive benchmark ratings for a mid-range tablet.

      More info on the Ramos I-Series at–Tab l e t S p r i nt–

  • APai

    a smartphone is essentially a phone – so that space isnt going anywhere.

    phablets sales are skyrocketing, and ironically its a hit with ladies who have got a bag at hand all the time. (after a long time of phone makers trying to make tiny phones, the trend is reverse now!)

    a tablet space has always been fluid – netbooks/ ereaders/ portable video player etc. so tablet made a lot of them obsolete and consolidated the position as the hardware became mature. apple couldn’t do it with previous hardware – so tablet was an idea waiting for its time with cheaper/ better hardware.

    content creation space is entirely different and will not go anywhere in a hurry – desktop PC/ laptops. cheap laptops, netbooks, will be extinct first i suppose.