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Tablet computers to compete with PCs by 2017

Graeme Parton

Experts have predicted that tablet computers will outsell laptops in 2013, suggesting the mobile devices are on their way towards challenging PCs before the end of the decade.

Market research group International Data Corporation (IDC) revised its forecast for 2013 tablet sales to predict that 190 million devices will be sold this year – over 18 million more than it had originally estimated.

IDC’s research also pointed towards a drop in the popularity of conventional PCs, suggesting sales figures could be matched by those of tablets as soon as 2017; just seven years after Apple first released the iPad.

It is thought that a rise in the use of smartphones and other portable devices, perhaps as a result of powerful processers and speedier data connections, has led to fewer people needing or using personal computers and laptops on a regular basis.

IDC had initially predicted that PC sales would break the 500 million barrier by 2017 but revised this forecast substantially when last week it said that only 382 million would be sold.

It has also been predicted that smaller tablets will increase in popularity. This category includes devices with screens measuring less than 8cm diagonally; such as Google’s Nexus 7, Apple’s iPad Mini, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

IDC’s tablet analyst, Jitesh Ubrani, said:

“One in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size. And in terms of shipments, we expect smaller tablets to continue growing in 2013 and beyond. Vendors are moving quickly to compete in this space as consumers realize that these small devices are often more ideal than larger tablets for their daily consumption habits.”

Marketers and business owners would do well to monitor the trends in computer device use, as the way in which consumers access content should have a big impact on the way in which it is created. Mobile devices, in particular, call for concise, easy-to-read, shareable materials and this should be considered to ensure success.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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