The mobility factor is turning out to be quite a dominant force in the field of personal computing, but what’s even more amazing is that the industry is at a stage where things are only heating up.

Within the next four years, the PC market is poised for a drastic shift — and touch is set to be at the very heart of this profound change, playing a key role in the adoption of mobile devices.

Analysts expect the mobile PC market to increase from 367.6 million units shipped globally in 2012 to an impressive 762.7 million units by 2017. And according to NPD DisplaySearch, this change is driven by touch-enabled form factors as tablets start to replace notebooks as the mobile devices of choice.

Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch explains:

“The mobile PC industry is undergoing significant change this year. The rapid rise and establishment of white box tablet PCs (tablets made by small local brands, mainly in China) is putting pressure on traditional notebook PCs.

These low-cost tablets are reaching further into emerging regions where notebook PC penetration rates have remained low, resulting in cannibalization by tablet PCs.”

Shipments of tablet PCs are forecasted to increase 67 percent on a year to year basis — from 256.5 million in 2013 to 579.4 million in 2017. White box tablets made up a third of tablet shipments last year, and are set to maintain this level for the next several years.

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