PCs are dead. Long live PCs!
A report from Canalys today reveals that tablets will make up 50% of PC shipments in 2014, marking the year that tablets officially began their global takeover. The worldwide client PC (notebooks, desktops, tablets) market grew 18% in the third quarter of 2013, at which point tablets accounted for 40% of all PC shipments. Tablets were just half a million units behind notebook shipments, but ovbiously, Canalys expects that to change very soon.
As of next year, Canalys is forecasting tablet shipments to reach 285 million units. By 2017, the firm expects that number to grow to 396 million units.
While the launch if iPad Air and the new iPad mini will help Apple retain its position as top vendor throughout the rest of 2013 (and it’s one of the only vendors whose notebook and desktop business has remained stable), its prioritization of margins will result in market share loss.
“Apple’s decline in PC market share is unavoidable when considering its business model,” said Senior Analyst Tim Coulling, in the report. “However, Apple is one of the few companies making money from the tablet boom. Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics.”
Naturally, Apple will lose ground to Android in the tablet wars, just as it did in the smartphone wars. Android is expected to account for 65% of all tablet shipments in 2014, ringing in at 185 million units. Android is expected to drive 32% of all PC shipments next year.
Samsung accounted for 27% of all Android tablets in Q3, but the rise of small-to-micro brand vendors is expected to chip away at that share. Tablets from Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo are gradually gobbling up market share, and some—like the Nextbook in the U.S., and Onda and Teclast in China—are already outpacing some of the major vendors in their home countries.
According to the report: “Expect 2014 to bring a flurry of acquisitions, mergers, and failures as PC hardware vendors of all sizes struggle to maintain their desktop and notebook business while attempting to capitalize on a tablet market that will see great volumes driving limited value.”
Last month, research from Gartner revealed that tablet shipments will grow by 53.4% in 2013, while shipments of notebooks, laptops, and “ultramobiles” (thin, light notebooks that can also function as hybrid tablets) will decrease by 8.4% this year.