But 'phablets' will eat into the tablet market next year

Tablets to outsell PCs during Q4 2013

Tablet devices will outsell both desktops and laptop computers this Christmas across the globe, say analysts.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects tablet shipments to surpass total PC shipments (including both desktop and portable PCs) in Q4 2013. PCs sales are still expected to be higher than tablets for the entire year.

IDC also forecasts that tablet shipments will surpass total PC shipments on an annual basis by the end of 2015. 

However, IDC expects smaller ‘phablets’ to eat into the tablet market going into 2014.

"The device world has seen several iterations of cannibalisation impacting different categories, with the last few years focused on tablets cannibalising PC sales," said Bob O’Donnell, Program Vice President, Clients and Displays at IDC.

"Over the next 12-18 months, however, we believe the larger smartphones, commonly called ‘phablets’, will start to eat into the smaller-size tablet market, contributing to a slower growth rate for tablets."

The tech market (PCs, tablets and smartphones) is forecast to grow 27.8 per cent year-on-year in 2013, compared to 30.3 per cent growth in 2012. PC sales estimates have been lowered by 10 per cent this year.

Overall ‘smart connected device’ shipments are expected to pass two billion units by the end of 2015 with a market value of $735.1 billion.

Total PC shipments accounted for 28.7 per cent of the smart connected device market in 2012, while tablets accounted for 11.8 per cent and smartphones for 59.5 per cent. By 2017, total PCs are expected to drop to 13 per cent, while tablets and smartphones will contribute 16.5 per cent and 70.5 per cent respectively to the overall market.

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