Global tablet shipments will overtake PCs for the first time in the fourth quarter of this year as consumers now prefer mobile devices to traditional laptops and desktops, market research firm International Data Corp (IDC) said.
A newly released IDC report forecast that tablet shipments will reach 84.10 million units in the fourth quarter, outpacing estimated PC shipments of 83.10 million units.
The report also forecast that the global smart connected device market, comprising PCs, tablets and smartphones, will post an annual growth of 27.8 percent this year, slightly lower than last year’s 30.3 percent growth.
This year’s growth will mainly be driven by tablet and smartphone shipments, while PC shipments could post an estimated 10 percent decline from the level a year earlier, the report said.
Overall PC shipments are still expected to surpass tablet shipments this year as a whole, but tablet shipments will outstrip total PC shipments on an annual basis by the end of 2015, IDC said.
It also said that smartphones will continue to ship at high volumes, surpassing 1.4 billion units in 2015 and accounting for 69 percent of all smart connected device shipments worldwide.
In terms of shipment value, the report said, the value of global smart connected devices is estimated to reach US$622.4 billion this year, of which US$423.1 billion, or 68 percent, will come from the combined sales of smartphone and tablets priced below US$350.
With the smartphone and tablet markets showing early signs of saturation, the emergence of lower-priced devices could be a game-changer, IDC said.