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Analyst: Why 2013 is shaping up to be the year tablet sales eclipse notebooks

by David Needle

December 10 2012

As notebook PC sales slump, tablet sales are on the grow.
As notebook PC sales slump, tablet sales are on the grow.

Here comes the tablets. A new report by DisplaySearch says notebook PC vendors are stuck with higher than expected unsold inventory as a growing number of consumers and businesses are choosing tablet instead.

Part of the reason for the slower notebook sales in recent months was the wait for Windows 8 to launch. But DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh also notes that many buyers have simply chosen to buy a tablet instead.

“Tablet PCs continue to capture consumers’ favor, as those who care more about content consumption than creation value portability and convenience, and thus tablet PCs are taking share from traditional clamshell notebook PCs,” Hsieh said in a blog post.

“At the same time, economic concerns have hampered enterprise IT spending, which hits notebook PCs in particular.”

Hsieh also said a hot topic in industry circles is “when will tablet PCs surpass notebook PCs?”

Once thought to be years away, Hsieh now says many observers believe tablet PCs will pass notebook PC sales by next year or 2014.

Hsieh thinks notebook PC vendors will look to value-added features such as high resolution for better data processing and picture performance, to regain their profit margins. Other features he says likely to be emphasized are also a strength of tablets including ultra-slim form factors, lighter weight for better portability, and touch screen integration for improved user interfaces.

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