Tech research firm IDC says in its latest forecast that tablet shipments will exceed what it calls “portable PCs” (laptops) this year. The firm reported negative 14 percent growth for the PC market overall in Q1 and says that negative growth trend will be reflected in the Q2 numbers as well.
Tablets are expected to exceed all PC sales (desktops and laptops) by 2015. However I suspect it will happen more quickly, by next year.
IDC also predicts that the bulk of sales will be at the lower-priced end of the market (read: Android). In addition, there will be more buying activity associated with smaller tablets: “in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.”
Next year the average selling price of entry level 7-inch Android tablets is likely to be around $150.
Below is the market share forecast by tablet screen size from IDC:
Obviously this is all relatively bad news for Microsoft, which has yet to see much success with its Surface tablets.
As a general matter PCs still drive the majority of web traffic, though it varies considerably by category. The average across all categories is about 15 percent. However in some categories mobile devices are now driving 40 percent or even 50 percent of all internet traffic.