22 November 2017

Post-PC: Age of Tablets


Age of Tablets

Image Courtesy : Code Mink

The Personal Computers era which was in its strongest hold in electronics world has reduced to a competition which is not highly fearful. The computers boom is over, and the business are not expected to regain the peaks that they saw in 2011 when more than 359 million were shipped worldwide. This statistic and research comes from IDC, which also observed that in a downward revision of its forecast for 2014s PC business. IDC says that total shipments are expected to fall by 9.7% compared to 2012, and are expected to continue to drift down at least until the end of 2017. The reason being for this loss of market share for PC are culprits that are known as smartphones and tablets, especially in emerging markets, and together with economic woes both in the west and some emerging markets, they are expected to thrive the economic conditions to a better scale.

Tablet shipments are expected to exceed sales of more than 350 million by the end of 2017, due to a predicted surge of smaller, lower-priced devices in the market, according to IDC. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker reports suggests that particularly Android-based tablets have been expanding their share of the market notably since 2012, and IDC said it expects that trend to continue even after 2013.

The research firm raised its 2013 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 190.9 million from its previous forecast for the year of 172.4 million units. Increases in tablet shipments have been made throughout the forecast period, with an average annual increase of 11 percent between 2013 and 2016, the IDC report noted. According to Gartner, the global sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a superb 68% increase on 2012. The longer term, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms are going to eventually relinquish some market share to Windows-based tablets, with Windows 8 predicted to grow from 1% of the market in 2012 to 7.4% until 2017. But, IDC predicted that it expects Windows RT growth to remain below 3% during the forecast five year period until 2017.

According to Tom Mainelli, the IDC research director for tablets, Microsoft’s decision to push two different tablet operating systems, Windows 8 and Windows RT, has yielded poor results in the market so far. Nowadays consumers aren’t buying Windows RT’s value proposition, and long term it is thought and understood that Microsoft and its partners would be better served by focusing their attention on improving Windows 8. Such a focus could drive better share growth in the tablet category down the road. For improved scale of understanding of sales of different companies’ different tablets, the figure below shows the statistical growth.

Global Tablet Sales to End Users by Operating System, 2013

Operating System2013 Sales (In Units)2013 Market Share (in %)2012 Sales2012 Market Share (%)
     
Android120,961,44561.953,341,25045.8
iOS70,400,15936.061,465,63252.8
Microsoft4,031,8022.11,162,4351.0
Others41,598<0.1379,0000.3
Total195,435,004100.0116,348,317100.0

Source: Gartner (February 2014)

Starting from mid-2012 and early 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications. As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditized, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value which is beyond just hardware and cost but to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins. The key to the drop in PC attraction is that emerging markets, and particularly India and China, are expected to see double-digit declines in shipments as both first-time and upgrading users have stated to turn to tablets and smartphones. In addition, schools and colleges requiring and promoting digital learning experience for students right at the earlier stage. In June 2011, it was forecasting that by the end of 2015 total world PC shipments would rise to 541.5 million, but now, it reckons the total sale instead is expected to be 318.2 million, which is a 41% cut on its earlier expectation. So, PC industry has to buckle up for a fierce competition in technological, innovation and digital market war.

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