Research firm IDC has just released its forecast predicting that tablet shipments will beat those of notebooks this year and surpass total PC shipments (notebooks and desktops) by 2015.
It cites the growing popularity of tablets as well as the plunging PC market. IDC is forecasting negative growth for PC shipments for the second consecutive year, with a 7.8 percent decline.
“What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith said in a news release. “For many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”
Microsoft is scrambling to catch up in the tablet market, where it still has only a minuscule market share.
Another area where Microsoft is playing catch-up is in the smaller-sized tablets, which IDC says has already overtaken its larger-sized brethren. While Microsoft intended for Windows 8, launched last fall, to work on both tablets and notebook/desktop PCs, the company did not anticipate the surging popularity of sub-8-inch-screen tablets. Its flagship Surface tablet features a 10.6 inch screen. Microsoft has said it’s working with manufacturers to come out with smaller sized Windows tablets.
Here’s IDC’s chart: