Report Says Tablets Will Make Up 50% Of PC Market In 2014


It’s Magic 8-Ball time here, as analysts continue to round-out 2013 by making predictions about what we can expect over the next year.

This time it’s analyst Canalys, which is forecasting that tablets will out-ship almost all other PC form factors combined in 2014 — representing around 50 percent of the total client PC market.

The prediction is based on the firm’s observation that while the worldwide PC market grew by 18 percent in Q3 2013, desktop and notebook shipments during that same timeframe continued to decline.

Extrapolating on that, Canalys has drawn its present conclusion — which includes some words about the future fortunes of both Apple (“It is decidedly so”) and Android (“Outlook good”).

For Apple:

“Apple has maintained its top vendor position throughout 2013, and the launch of the iPad Air and new iPad mini will strengthen that position in Q4. Its desktop and notebook business has remained stable while other vendors have seen their shipments deteriorate. Apple’s prioritization of protecting gross margins will see its PC market share continue to decline. ‘Apple’s decline in PC market share is unavoidable when considering its business model. Samsung narrowly took the lead in EMEA this quarter and Apple will lose its position to competitors in more markets in the future,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling. ‘However, Apple is one of the few companies making money from the tablet boom. Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics.'”

And Android:

“Android-derived operating systems will be responsible for driving growth in the market and are forecast to take 65% share in 2014 with 185 million units. Samsung continues to lead with strong year-on-year growth coming from its broad tablet portfolio, and in Q3 2013 it had a 27% share of Android tablet shipments. But with hundreds of small-to-micro brand vendors in established and high-growth markets and international players such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and HP, this market share statistic will also start to decline.”

However, while Apple and Samsung will continue to keep ahead of their competitors in the medium-term, they face challenges in the long haul as competition hots up, and other competitors enter the market.

“The tablet market has already started to see casualties,” the report’s authors warn, “with BlackBerry exiting the market, and Barnes and Noble looking to adjust its business model away from its own independent hardware. Expect 2014 to bring a flurry of acquisitions, mergers, and failures as PC hardware vendors of all sizes struggle to maintain their desktop and notebook business while attempting to capitalize on a tablet market that will see great volumes driving limited value.”

Which platform will ultimately triumph out of Android and iOS, Magic 8-Ball?

“Ask again later.”