Shipments of Tablets to More Than Double Those of Notebook PCs in 2014 – Report

Tablets to Outsell Notebooks by More Than Two Times Next Year, Says New Report

by Anton Shilov
07/30/2013 | 11:25 PM

As new players enter the market of media tablets, their shipments inevitable increase, whereas prices understandably become lower. As a result of the current market trends, sales of various systems in slate form-factor next year will be more than two times higher compared to sales of traditional notebooks, according to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch.


Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to reach nearly 364 million worldwide in 2014, more than doubling the projected 177 million shipments of standard notebook PC and ultra-slim PCs, according to the NPD DisplaySearch. In January, the firm forecast that tablet PC shipments would exceed notebook PC shipments in 2013, and its latest research reveals that tablet PC shipments will continue to increase across all regions, particularly in emerging markets, as notebook PC shipments decline through 2017. Tablet PC shipments are projected to reach 589 million by 2017, while notebook PC and ultra-slim PC are forecast at 176 million.

“The PC market is clearly shifting away from notebooks and toward tablets. Supply chain indications reveal that previously planned production of notebook PCs is being pulled back due to declining adoption and that brands are gradually increasing the number of tablet PC models in their product mixes. Panel and finished goods suppliers are also increasing production of displays and other components for tablets in order to keep up with the market changes,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst with NPD DisplaySearch.

Tablet PC growth is fueled by increased adoption in emerging regions, where it is stifling notebook PC growth. PC penetration is low in emerging regions, and first-time PC buyers typically prefer a notebook PC. However, tablet PCs with lower prices, longer battery life, and more convenient usage models are replacing notebook PCs, which is leading to direct cannibalization.

The tablet PC market is also quickly evolving, offering more choices to a growing audience of potential buyers. Consumers can expect to see greater choice in screen sizes, as brands look to differentiate their products and exploit new market opportunities. Tablet PCs with screens smaller than 8” will account for 59% of the market (166 million units) in 2013, but they will account for 63% (277 million units) in 2015. New tablet PC screen sizes will include both 8” and 7.5” sizes, and manufacturers are expected to focus on tablets with prices that are attractive to middle-income buyers.

“Smaller tablets are important, because they will encourage adoption in emerging regions. Smaller screen sizes translate to lower priced tablet-PC options, since display panels tend to comprise just over a third of the total cost of a tablet, which makes them attractive in price-sensitive markets,” said Mr. Shim.