If you think the tablet is a fad, it’s time to think again. The latest research report from IDC reveals that tablet shipments are on target to surpass those of both the laptop and desktop PC by 2015.
In a new study released today, the research firm claims that tablet shipments will grow 59% this year to 229.3 million units, a figure which is higher than the firm’s forecast for 2013 notebook shipments, and reckons that they will eventually top desktop PC shipments two years later.
And with the group also reporting that worldwide PC shipments are to drop by almost 8% this year, it is to little surprise that analysts from the firm believe the tablet is changing the way people compute.
"Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them," said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's mobility trackers.
“IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC."
When looking at what continues to drive the tablet market, the researchers highlighted three factors; falling prices, demand for a new screen size and a realization that tablets can be for content creation.
The firm cited the growing number of affordable Android tablets for the average tablet selling price falling 11% to $381 (for some context, the average PC price was $635) but also highlighted a growing desire for an emerging screen size.
Falling in line with similar comments from other market researchers, IDC believes that the 8-inch tablet has a bright future and claims that the models of this size or below will grow from a market share of 27% in 2011 to 55% in 2013.
IDC also found that the iPad has slowly changed perceptions on whether tablets can be used for content creation, especially in education.
"Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
"These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child."