data published yesterday
by the research firm IDC, tablet shipments will reach 84.1 million
units in the fourth quarter of 2013. For the same period, PC
shipments are estimated to come in at 83.1 million, making it the
first time that tablets will overtake PCs in sales. IDC has
projected that PC sales will decline by 10% in 2013.
However, the global market for Internet-connected devices -- which
includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and yes, desktops -- will
increase by a solid 28% to $622.4 billion in 2013. By 2015, that
figure is expected to hit $735.1 billion. The explosive growth of
smartphones and tablets is partly responsible for the decline in PC
sales, but it also makes the blow of declining PC sales negligible
for some brands, but not for others.
Mainstays of the PC business like
) have seen sales slump with the worldwide decrease in demand for
PCs. On the other hand,
) with its iPads,
) with its Nexus line of tablets, and
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) with its Galaxy Tab line are all profiting from the
latest shift in tech consumption.
A finer detail worth noting from the IDC report is that
lower-priced tablets and smartphones are becoming more popular at a
quicker rate than their higher-end competitors. According to the
data released yesterday, tablets and smartphones that retail for
less than $350 will account for a full 68% of shipments of not just
tablets and smartphones, but all devices that connect to the
Internet. Last year, the average selling price for connected
devices was $462. By 2017, the IDC predicts that that number will
slide to $323.
The growing popularity of lower-cost devices speaks to the great
success of Google's Android operating system and devices, many of
which are cheaper than products from the United States' sales
leader in smartphones and tablets, Apple. Trying to reach a wider
market, Apple just unveiled its cheaper iPhone, the colorful 5C --
though, with a starting price of $549 for an unlocked device, it is
certainly not the "budget" iPhone that everyone was expecting.
The new data from IDC reflects the strong market positions of
Apple, Google, and Samsung, and makes it clear that the old PC
mainstays must catch up. Of course, Microsoft is already making
some (if relatively small) strides with its Surface tablets and
Windows Phones, which are predominantly made by
(NOK). Though modest compared to Android and iOS, Windows Phone's
market share has increased significantly: According to
IDC data from August
, Windows Phone became the third most used mobile OS, with 3.7% of
global market share in the second quarter of 2013, besting the
former industry leader
(BBRY) 2.9% for the same quarter. By comparison, during Q2, Android
commanded 79.3% of global market share while iOS took 13.2%.
With the IDC's prediction that the connected device market will hit
$735.1 billion in 2017, there's room for growth across the board,
even at those companies that have recently fallen behind.
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Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.