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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mobile/WirelessNetworkinghardware systemswirelesstabletsNPD DisplaySearchlaptopsmobileintelAppleDisplaySearchMicrosoft

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

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?