IDC: Tablets Shipments To Surpass Desktop PCs In 2013, Notebooks In 2014

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The post-PC era appears to be accelerating, according to IDC.

The market research firm Tuesday reported that worldwide shipments of smart connected devices jumped nearly 30 percent in 2012, exceeding last year's 1 billion units shipped and $576.9 billion generated in revenue. The driving force behind that increase, according to IDC, was the tablet market, which grew more than 80 percent and surpassed 128 million units shipped last year.

But the big news in IDC's report is that the research firm expects tablets shipments to surpass desktop PC shipments for the first time in 2013. In addition, IDC forecasts tablets will outpace "portable" PC shipments next year as well.

[Related: IDC: PC Sales Slowing, Tablets Getting Stronger]

Specifically, IDC expects desktop PC shipments to continue falling another 4.3 percent this year, while portable PC shipments is expected to grow slightly at 0.9 percent. Tablets, on the other hand, will reach a new high of 190 million units shipped in 2013 with year-over-year growth of more than 48 percent. IDC also predicts the smartphone market to grow around 27 percent, reaching 918.5 million units this year.

According to IDC's numbers, the traditional PC market is seeing a decline even in emerging markets as tablets and smartphones take priority over desktops and notebooks.

"In emerging markets, consumer spending typically starts with mobile phones and, in many cases, moves to tablets before PCs," said Megha Saini, Research Analyst for IDC's Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker, in a press statement. "The pressure on the PC market is significantly increasing and we can see longer replacement cycles coming into effect very soon and that, too, will put downward pressure on PC sales."


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