Last week we reported that Google's ad revenue from tablets would surpass that of personal computers by the end of Q4 2013. Well, it seem that tablets will go above and beyond this year and surpass the sales of the personal computer altogether.
As of now, shipments of the personal computer are still ahead of the shipments of tablets by a fair mark, but analysts predict that by the end of 2013 tablets will not only have caught up with the personal computer, but will have surpassed it. This is a result of the personal computer market being very saturated in this day and age and the replacement cycle of the PC either shrinking drastically as one to 2-year old personal computers remain relevant longer than in the past and/or PC users move altogether to a tablet as their main source of computing.
Currently, the sales of personal computers are at around the 80 million range, while tablets are hanging at around 55-60 million per quarter. Analyst Sameer Singh of tech-thoughts.net, who uses the rate at which tablets and personal computers are replaced and not the current usage of the device to determine the future rate of shipment of the particular device in question, predicts that the shipment of tablets will reach 75-80 million units per quarter in Q4 of 2013.
"Unlike in the early days of the smartphone market, the PC market is fairly saturated. As a result, the average growth in combined shipments of tablets and PCs is likely to remain in the low-single digits – of course, cyclicality in demand is likely to have an impact. As per these estimates, quarterly shipments of tablets are likely to overtake those of PCs by Q1 2014." -Sameer Singh
Shipments of the personal computer have stagnated over the past 5-years, while the shipments of tablets have risen over the same period from basically non-existent five-years ago to 60 million shipments per quarter. This data alone makes it easy to infer that tablets will continue to pull in sales for a time to come before falling off into a replacement cycle that just hasn't come to exist yet in the same sense as the PC.
"Over the last couple of years, it has become more and more apparent that PCs are seen as appliances, in that owning a PC is a necessity, but upgrading one is not. This has been driven by a shift in development activity from the traditional PC platform to mobile devices and the web/mobile web." -Sameer Singh
PC sales and shipments have fallen off over the past years due to consumers focusing more on the purchase of mobile devices and Windows 8 is doing nothing to solve this problem. Microsoft has a long hard road ahead to solve this one; do you think they can/will be able to pull off a resurgence for the personal computer or have we jumped head-first into the post-PC era? Let us know what you think in the comments.