Half of the PC market next year will consist of tablets, outselling every other form factor, analysts have predicted.
Canalys forecasts that almost 50 per cent of the PC market in 2014 will be tablets, with an 18 per cent growth of the worldwide client PC market during Q3 2013, despite a decline in notebook and desktop sales, attributed to the boom in tablets.
The percentage would be a growth in tablet sales of 25 per cent on Q3 2013, with tablet devices making up 40 per cent of PC shipments, with notebooks selling less than half a million units more.
285 million tablets are estimated to be sold in 2014, growing to 396 million in 2017. The biggest vendors are set to remain Apple and Samsung, said Canalys, with a predicted loss of Apple market share offset by higher prices.
“Apple’s decline in PC market share is unavoidable when considering its business model,” explained Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling.
“Samsung narrowly took the lead in EMEA this quarter and Apple will lose its position to competitors in more markets in the future.”
“However, Apple is one of the few companies making money from the tablet boom. Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s share in the tablet market is set to increase to five per cent in 2014 from two per cent in 2012 on the back of its acquisition of Nokia this year.
“2014 will see another major shift for the company as the Nokia acquisition brings it a step closer to being a fully-fledged smart mobile device vendor,” said Canalys research analyst Pin Chen Tang.
“As a vendor Microsoft needs to prove to channel partners and consumers that it is in this market for the long haul.”
“To improve its position it must drive app development and better utilize other relevant parts of its business to round out its mobile device ecosystem. A critical first step is to address the coexistence of Windows Phone and Windows RT. Having three different operating systems to address the smart device landscape is confusing to both developers and consumers alike.”
Canalys claimed that the growth in the market will be driven by Android-based devices, which it expects to take 65 per cent of the market in 2014.
While Samsung will remain a top player in the market overall, its premium-priced tablets may begin to lose share to lower-priced offerings from “small-to-micro brand vendors, Canalys suggested.
Analyst James Wang added: “Vendors such as Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo have all entered the price war, with entry-level products at sub-$150 price points. With vastly different cost structures these vendors will continue to find it extremely challenging to keep pace with local competitors, especially in APAC and Latin America.”
Image of tablet with graph courtesy of Shutterstock.co.uk