Tablets set to outsell laptops by 2014

The good news for Apple and Samsung isn't so bullish for HP or Dell.

By Benzinga Mar 28, 2013 12:24PM
copyright AppleBy Tim Parker

The tablet market is getting bigger. Everybody knows that but when IDC released its 2012 report, nobody thought that it would report results like these.

According to the report, tablet shipments grew 78.4% year over year in 2012, representing more than 128 million tablets shipped. This year tablet shipments are projected to overtake desktops and in 2014, they'll be bigger than the laptop market.

According to the report, tablets should capture 16% of the smart device market by 2017 -- up 50% from the 2012 level of 10.7%. That represents total revenue of $814 billion with 83% of the market comprised of tablets and smartphones -- up from 2012 levels of 70.8%.

If you thought that was impressive, the report projects that the smart device market will grow 174% between 2012 and 2017. All of this at the expense of the PC, which will slide from a 12.4% market share last year to 6% in 2017.

But your laptop isn't going to go the way of the desktop PC, will it? IDC believes that its market share will drop from 16.8% to 11% in 2017.

Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President for Clients and Displays, says, "Consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size."

And what about the Samsung versus Apple (AAPL) battle? IDC reports that Apple gained ground on rival Samsung taking 20.3% unit shipment share versus Samsung's 21.2%. In terms of revenue, Apple had a 30.7% share while Samsung had 20.4%.

What does all of this mean for the PC market? It's not good news for companies like Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Microsoft (MSFT) wants to believe that it's transforming into a company ready to capitalize on the mobile market, but so far there's very little evidence of that. Its Surface Tablet, Windows phones, and Windows 8 operating system aren't making significant inroads. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

Of course, Dell (DELL) won't be publishing the study results on its website any time soon but if there's any good news, Dell is likely to die off in the hands of Blackstone (BX), far away from retail investors if the PC does die off.

But this report is great news for other tech titans.

Despite ACI Research CEO Edward Zabitsky reiterating his $274 price target on Apple this week, the other 45 analysts are more confident in the company's ability to continue being a leader in the space.

Other companies feeling good about the IDC report include AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), cell tower stocks like American Tower (AMT), and companies like Facebook (FB) that are quickly learning how to monetize mobile.

More from Benzinga
Mar 28, 2013 2:48PM
I still prefer a laptop. Tablets are toys by comparison. Real work needs a laptop in order to get done. 
Mar 28, 2013 3:01PM

Just keep pushing the date back and eventually it might become true...


search your favorite search engine for news on "tablets outsell laptops by 2013" or "tablets outsell laptops by 2012"


Mar 28, 2013 4:18PM

Amusing but tablets with keyboards are laptops (notebooks)!

Mar 28, 2013 2:53PM
When research shows that widespread wireless communications poses a grave threat to human health, as I expect it will, the transformation forecasted by IDC will prove wrong. 
Mar 30, 2013 8:19AM

my Microsoft windows 8 surface is great for play and work. It has Microsoft office and a magnetic keyboard that's detaches. it's like having a laptop and tablet all in one. my laptop is collecting dust.

Mar 28, 2013 8:58PM
try hybrid. recently got 12.5in hybrid (win8) and it's really great. not sure what all these win8  bashings about. my ipad is collecting dust, will give it away probably.
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