Tablets to overtake PC as primary device

Following the tablet boom in 2012, the latest Gartner Inc. results show a decline of 4.9 percent in personal computer (PC) sales compared to 2011.

 It is believed there is a trend towards a shift from to tablet as the preferred device.

“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst at Gartner.

Tablet sales were predicted to hit the 119 million mark in 2012, a 98 percent rise from the 60 million devices sold in 2011, with Apple, Android and Microsoft as top three sellers, though recorded statistics have not yet been released.

Sales are expected to rise undeterred, unless PCs adapt to challenge tablets as the new first growing choice.

An estimated 182 million are predicted to be sold worldwide in 2013, which is expected to increase to 369 million in 2016.

Kitagawa blames the decreasing popularity of PCs on the increasing availability of low cost tablets.

“We hypothesize that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet,” she concluded.

Apart from low priced netbooks, the holiday season’s sale numbers have given PC preference the final blow.

The launch of Windows 8 has failed to boost PC sales, owing to a lack of enthusiasm on the marketing side, the Gartner report said.

“The launch of Windows 8 had no impact on PC demand, especially as Ultramobile products were both limited in supply, as well as being priced too high,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner.

“The holiday season mostly saw retailers clearing Windows 7 notebook inventory or driving volume of low-end notebooks. Furthermore, the increasing choice of tablets at decreasing price points no doubt became a favourite Christmas present ahead of PCs,” Atwal continued.

As an exception, Hewlett Packard (HP) has succeeded in keeping its computer sales stable in relation to last year’s numbers with a focus on Windows 8 and thereby achieving the top position in PC orders.

Underneath HP’s 14 .6 million plus shipments, lies Lenovo with 13.9 million, Dell with nine million, Acer Group with 8.6 million and ASUS with 6.5 million ordered units.

Gartner, Inc. is a global leader on the information technology research front.

Posted in: Mobile

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