PCs Sales Suffer as Tablets and Smartphone Sales continue to Soar

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A recent press release from market research company IDC highlights the growing importance of tablets to users seeking to stay connected with a smart device as they have become a driving force in a huge and growing market.

The latest results from IDC’s Smart Connected Device Tracker shows that overall shipments of smart connected devices grew 29.1% last year and that units edged past the 1 billion shipped level for the first time, with a value of $576.9 billion.

Tablet sales grew 78.4% compared to 2011, reaching 128 million units for the year. Smartphones continued to also see strong growth, increasing by 46.1% while the big loser were PCs, both desktop and notebooks, with drops in sales of 4.1% and 3.4% respectively.

And the forecast is rosy for tablets and not so good for the old stalwarts in the PC market. As the tablet space starts to mature sales will slow as a percentage of growth, dropping to an estimated 48.7% this year and 10.6% by 2017 while smartphones will drop to 27.2% growth this year and 9.8% in 2017. On the flip side of the coin desktop PC sales will continue to drop, seeing a 4.3% decline this year and a 1.0% in 2017 while notebook sales are expected to see some rebound to an increase of 0.9% this year and a 3.7% increase in 2017.

Part of notebooks’ issues can be seen in that tablets are now emerging as the go-to device in developing markets, but IDC estimates that users will often move onto, or add, notebook computers at some point in the future.

IDC estimates that worldwide shipments will continue to remain very strong overall and should reach 2.2 billion units and $814.3 billion by 2017.