While the future is certainly one dominated by touchscreens and portable slates, it’s not the desktops that will be sacrificed in their favour, at least not yet. Laptops and notebooks are the ones to suffer most, just like the point and shoot cameras are suffering because of cameraphones. A recent NPD study and series of predictions shows that in 2016 tablet shipments will overtake notebooks.
Everyone is talking about the post PC world, from Apple to Microsoft and from Google to Amazon. NPD DisplaySearch predicts that tablet shipments in 2016 will surpass 350 million units, surpassing notebook shipments for the first time that year. Projections also show a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next 5 years. The total number of shipments will rise from 121 million this year to 416 million in 2017, a fourfold increase almost. Notebooks will continue to grow but in a more modest fashion from 208 million this year to 393 million in 2017.
The key factor here for tablet PC increase of shipments is adoption in mature markets, like the Japanese, North America and Western Europe ones, that will stand for 66% of shipments this year. They’ll stay in the 60% range for years to come and during the forecast period. I must also note the line between notebook and tablet is very blurry at times, with many devices with detachable keyboards/screens and Windows 8 fitting in both categories. So, will one segment kill the other or will they evolve together?