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IDC: Tablets To Overtake Desktops in 2013, Portable PCs in 2014

A billion "smart connected devices" shipped in 2012, but the four types of devices that make up that overall International Data Corp. definition are on radically different trajectories.

Desktop PCs occupy a bitter plateau, declining slowly but rapidly losing share compared to an overall market expected to more than double to 2.2 billion device shipments by 2017, according to IDC's latest forecasts released this week. Portable PCs are in a slightly better place, and looking forward to decent share gains over the next five years.

Steamrolling both of those categories are tablets, which IDC projects will outpace first desktop PC sales in 2013 then portable PC sales by 2014. The final category is smartphones, not increasing as fast as tablets but still gaining plenty fast and dominating the overall numbers now and probably for the next few years.

Microsoft has gotten a lot of complaints that its Windows 8 overhaul left traditional PC users' needs in the dust. Even accounting for the necessary skepticism about five-year market projections, any study of the trend lines makes it pretty clear why Microsoft seems less concerned about the installed base and seems urgently focused on leaping across to tablets and smartphones.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 28, 2013 at 11:58 AM


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