Tablet takeover: More shipments than PCs in Q4

PCs still hold their edge of tablets in total yearly shipments, but their time is running out.

We can't say we didn't see this one coming , but now it's (almost) official: tablets are taking over PCs in shipments later this year.

Research firm IDC projects tablets will beat PCs in global shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, as tablets are expected to grow 27.8 percent in 2013 (down from 30.3 percent in 2012) and the PC outlook is projected to be down 10 percent this year. Still, PCs will lead in total shipments for the year. It won't be until 2015 that tablets out-ship PCs on an annual basis.

Meanwhile, smartphones will continue to dominate the worldwide "smart connected device" market in the near future as companies attempt to entice first-time customers with low-cost devices.

Here's how the market is expected shape up this year and grow over the next few years, according to IDC:

The total market for smart connected devices is expected to be $622 billion in 2013, with $423 billion of that coming from cheaper (sub-$350) smartphone and tablets. And while the market is growing at over 10 percent this year it is expected to slow to just 3 percent in 2017.

"At a time when the smartphone and tablet markets are showing early signs of saturation, the emergence of lower-priced devices will be a game-changer," said Megha Saini, a research analyst at IDC. "Introducing new handsets and tablet devices at cheaper price points along with special initiatives like trade-in programs from Apple and BestBuy will accelerate the upgrade cycle and expand the total addressable market overnight."

Read more: IDC

Photo: Flickr/ebayink

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