It’s been assumed for some months now that tablets would eventually overtake traditional desktops and laptops; the question was: when?
IDC has now arrived at a timeline. With 45 per cent growth in tablets shipped, and PC shipments falling by almost eight per cent this year, 332 million tablets should ship in 2015
, narrowly eclipsing the 323 million PCs that will ship that year, according to IDC.
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IDC says the growth is being driven by smaller, lower-cost, Android based machines. Consumers are delaying or deferring upgrades to their PCs, and enterprises aren’t replacing employee machines.
The latter point is intriguing. Though they’ve evolved some since Apple’s original iPad, tablets are still designed for consuming content, not necessarily creating it, which might give PCs a longer lease on life in the corporate world.
Where it could get really interesting is in the developing world. Wireless infrastructure is cheaper to build than hard-wired, favouring the very portable form factor. And breakthroughs like Datawind’s Ubislate line of sub-$100 tablets
are aimed squarely at that market.