Tablet shipments to outpace laptops in 2013, NPD says

Touch displays are driving tablet buying patterns; Windows 8 has had limited effect so far

New tablet shipments will outnumber laptops for the first time in 2013, as touch display capabilities drive buying patterns rather than new operating systems like Windows 8 and Windows RT, research firm NPD DisplaySearch reported on Monday.

NPD projects that tablet shipments will jump to 256.5 million globally in 2013, then more than double to 579.4 million by 2017. Tablet shipments will grow by 67% in 2013 over 2012's level of about 159 million.

Meanwhile, laptop shipments will remain almost constant with last year's numbers, with 203.3 million projected to ship in 2013> The researcher expects laptop shipments to fall to 183.3 million in 2017.

One bright spot for laptops -- those with touchscreen capabilities -- will see shipments grow by 48% in 2014.

Ultraslim laptops, like Intel's Ultrabooks and Apple's MacBook Air, will account for 66% of notebook shipments in 2013. The share of ultraslim laptops will grow to 80% in 2017, NPD said. Intel's third-generation Ultrabooks will run Haswell chips for touch capability.

NDP said new operating systems like Microsoft's Windows 8 are unlikely to drive touch adoption, while lower cost tablets and new form factors like convertibles will.

"Windows 8 has had a limited impact on driving touch adoption in notebook PC's due to a lack of applications needing touch and the high cost of touch on notebook PC's," said Richard Shim, an analyst at PF DisplaySearch, in a statement.

Low cost tablets are driving tablet adoptions in emerging markets, NPD said.

The rapid rise in shipments of so-called white box tablets that are made mostly by small, Chinese manufacturers, is cannibalizing the laptop businss overall. In some emerging markets, tablets are selling where laptops have not previously sold.

Acer on Friday unveiled a new $169 Android tablet, the Iconia A1, and then Amazon briefly posted, then removed from its Web site an ad for a Windows 8 Acer Iconia tablet for $380. Such a tablet would be the first 8.1-in device running Windows 8.

IDC recently noted the impact of white box tablets driving all tablet shipments, which reached 49 million in the first quarter of 2013.

NPD's tablet forecasts for tablets are far higher IDC's.

In March, IDC projected 175 million tablet shipments in 2013, while NPD today projects that 256.5 million tablets will ship in 2013. IDC's report projected that 350 million tablets will ship in 2017, far below NPD's projection of 579.4 million tablet shipments.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMicrosofttabletswirelessAppleNetworkingintelhardware systemslaptopsDisplaySearchMobile/WirelessNPD DisplaySearch

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?