Go back a decade and not many would have expected people would be debating how tablets and smartphone sales compare with each other, and growth rate predictions for both form factors.
But we are firmly and squarely in the middle of the mobile revolution — and these portable devices are showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. The desktop PC has been the obvious casualty of this paradigm shift, and somewhat surprisingly even laptops have not been spared the mobile assault.
And once again, tablets seem to set for impressive growth, a new study from Gartner reveals.
Slates are expected to grow with a mammoth margin of 42.7 percent this year compared to 2012. They are expected to reach a total number of 184 million units. In fact, it is believed that tablets are also going to impact the sales of smartphones, at least during the all-important Holiday shopping season.
As Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi put it:
“Continuing on the trend we saw last year, we expect this holiday season to be all about smaller tablets as even the long-term holiday favorite – the smartphone – loses its appeal.”
As a matter of fact, by 2014 Gartner expects the difference between tablet and PC shipments will reach a tiny and almost negligible 18,000 units gap.
End consumers now continue to pick up smaller and cheaper slates, and the 7-inch form factor is said to be in very high demand right now.
Windows powered tablet makers, on the other hand, have identified the 8-inch display form factor as the magical one. Microsoft too is said to be on track to release the Surface Mini, a slate that comes with either a 7 or 8 inch display, early next year.
But one thing is certain — stakes will undoubtedly be at their highest come 2014.