In 2013, tablets were expected and estimated to have overtaken PC shipments. More than a month into 2014, the predictions for this year are already here: tablet shipments will rise to 315 million this year, comprising more than 65 percent of the market.
Those latest numbers come from NPD, which believes falling prices and advances in display technology will lead not only to higher shipments of tablets, but lower notebook PC shipments in 2014. In fact, the firm predicts that by 2017, tablet shipments will climb to 455 million, encompassing nearly 75 percent of the mobile PC market:
“Momentum for the tablet PC market is in full swing as it has become the dominant mobile PC form factor,” NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Shim said in a statement. “Competition is expected to increase as traditional notebook PC brands, including Lenovo, HP, and Dell update their product portfolios to emphasize tablet PCs. Increased competition will mean more attention on, and development of, various segments of the market, which will ultimately lead to greater choice and devices that better fit the needs of consumers.”
NPD predicts the worldwide average selling price for tablets will fall from $311 in 2014 to $296 in 2017. Meanwhile, standard notebook PC prices are expected to rise from $667 in 2013 to $693 in 2014, while ultra-slim PC prices are expected to rise from $885 to $936.
If true, this would naturally help increase adoption of tablets and further hurt notebook sales, particularly in emerging regions where first-time PC buyer penetration rates are the highest. Consumers will have more options to choose from, including AMOLED and other display technologies, a greater variety of screen sizes, and higher resolutions.
While we agree with the latter, it’s difficult to see that tablet prices will continue to fall for an additional five years straight. We’ve already seen some prices stabilize in developed countries. There is always a bottom.
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