The age of the PC is over. The time of the tablet is about to begin.
At least, that’s what sales figures would suggest. Just like Steve Jobs predicted way back in 2010, tablets are set to overtake PCs.
Back in 2010, this seemed mildly surprising. But as five years have passed, it’s become less and less surprising. Tablet sales have steadily grown while we’re constantly bombarded with news about declining PC sales. It was really only a matter of time.
Now, after continued PC losses and continued tablet growth, we’ve come to a point where tablets will finally surpass PC sales.
That statistic comes from Gartner, which predicts that total PC market sales will be 316,689 in 2015 while tablet sales will be 320,964 (both in thousands of units).
Of course, these are predictions based on 2013 and 2014 sales figures. PC sales have actually declined less than expected in 2014, so it’s far from certain that tablet sales will outpace PC sales.
As you can see from the graph above, “PC sales” includes ultramobile devices, premium devices, traditional PCs, and notebooks.
Gartner also released another revealing graph breaking down worldwide device shipments by the operating system used. Device shipments include all mobile phones, ultramobiles (i.e. tablets), and PCs.
Android is clearly dominating the OS war, while Windows is holding a narrow lead over iOS and Mac OS. It’s interesting to see the “Others” category continuously decline over time. That suggests the OS war is becoming more and more of a three-horse race.
Tablets are attractive devices to the average computer user. They’re easy to use and users don’t have to worry about maintenance, swapping out parts, performing upgrades, or any of the other stuff PC enthusiasts enjoy doing. Instead, they get a computer “that just works”.
Do you ever see your tablet replacing your PC? I don’t know about you, but until a tablet can give me 60fps PC gaming at full HD or higher, I’m sticking with my traditional desktop PC. Sorry, Steve Jobs.