In the second quarter of 2013, PC shipments suffered a drop in shipment by 10.9%, selling only 76 million units. This slump was caused by the increase of inexpensive android tablets, which provide everything that many PC users need in a cheaper, lighter and smaller form factor.
Tablets aren’t a new phenomenon either, they’ve been around for over a decade. In the early 2000’s, Microsoft shook the business world when they released Windows XP tablet edition. An operating system tailored towards tablet computers which provided Wacom functionality (Electronic digitizer stylus) and flexibility much like modern tablets. But the tablet PC stayed as a business commodity up until Apple Inc. released the iPad which changed the world of tablet computing.
According to Apple Insider, it was the rise of the iPad that caused the PC slump of 2013. In 2011, Apple’s iPad sold more than 40 million units out of 60 million tablets worldwide, dominating the tablet market. It’s even been estimated that by as soon as next year, tablets will surpass the desktop PC market and dominate the computing world as tablet PC’s become more advanced.
But the desktop PC isn’t dead – it has simply become a niche in the computer market. While all-in-ones and laptops are gaining ground in homes the office, the computing enthusiasts and hardcore PC gamers are investing in desktop towers due to the brute raw power they need to handle their day to day activities. As it stands, tablets are still not as popular as PC’s but they are dramatically catching up.
Because tablets have such a high market dominance, Microsoft shifted its Windows OS towards tablets, leaving desktop PC’s in the dust. After releasing Windows 8 and Windows RT, they unveiled the Surface range of devices which had the brute force of a traditional desktop including multi-core CPU’s, up to 8GB of RAM and even a dedicated Nvidia graphics card for demanding tasks. Again these were more business oriented devices rather than consumer devices.
Yet despite all of that, in 2014 PC sales saw an increase in market share with Acer taking the number one spot at 7.9%, with Asus following narrowly behind with 6.9% (Gartner). Though this did end the two year running slump of PC sales, it was still unclear at what the future holds for the PC market.
Many, including Steve jobs, have predicted that tablet sales will one day surpass PC’s, dominating the PC market for consumers and creating a post-PC era. As mentioned before, the desktop PC market has become a niche – but it’s not dead.
Yes, businesses are starting to adopt tablets. Yes, consumers are looking at tablets to replace their laptops that they only use for the web. Yes, tablets are beginning to take hold of the market. But the PC is still prominent in businesses and within the PC enthusiast community. What’s our prediction? We believe that the tablet will one day dominate the market and drive cloud computing into a whole new era with technology such as Nvidia GRID.
Do you think that the tablet will dominate your businesses by next year or will powerful desktop PC’s reign on in the office?
If you are looking for new business tablet, check out our range of selected business hardware.