Smaller tablets and China expected to help tablets become bigger than notebooks

by Doug Drinkwater

January 8 2013

NPD DisplaySearch expects tablet shipments to outpace notebook shipments globally in 2013
NPD DisplaySearch expects tablet shipments to outpace notebook shipments globally in 2013

The days of the tablet being dismissed as a fad are well and truly over, with a new study claiming that tablet shipments are to overtake notebook shipments globally for the first time this year.

The report comes from market research group NPD DisplaySearch and explains that tablet shipments will reach more than 240 million units worldwide in 2013, with notebooks forecast to reach 207 million units.

The results come courtesy of the firm’s latest Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, which as well as highlighting that tablets are overtaking notebooks, also details some shifting dynamics within the tablet market.

The report states that smaller 7 to 8-inch tablets will grow to account for 45% (or 108 million units) of the tablet market in 2013, with 9.7-inch devices like the iPad dropping to a share of 17% (41 million units).

Tablets also appear to be currying favor in emerging countries across the world, with fast-growing global power China set to overtake the EMEA in becoming the second largest tablet market in 2013.

DisplaySearch says that the country will grow to a share of 27% (65 million units), with this largely being driven by local brands, but stresses that North America will retain the market lead with 35% (85 million units) of the tablet market.

This isn’t the first time pundits have reckoned the tablet would overtake the notebook, with DisplaySearch itself stating that tablet shipments in both North America and China surpassed those of the notebook in 2012. Towards the end of last year, the firm said that Black Friday sales were the ‘catalyst’ for this change.

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