A number of speculations depict that Tablets could outsell the PCs soon. In 2010, when iPad was first introduced in the market by Apple, PCs outsold Tablets by 20 to one. But, in 2011, the shipment of Tablets was drastically augmented, nevertheless PC still outsold Tablets by six to one. However, PC sales remained flat for the last two years; on the contrary, Tablet market has steadily been mounting up. In addition to iPad, lots of players such as Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook entered into the market and clinched a majority portion of PC’s market last year. In Q4 (calendar) holidays last year, Apple’s iPad accounted 40% more revenue than its computer business—Macintosh.
Tablet segment has tremendously marked its growth in last couple of years. In fact, the intense competition has pushed the growth if Tablet industry towards extreme. The competition has been intensified due to advent of number of low priced Android Tablets last year,which enforced several existed player like RIM and Motorola to lower its Tablet’s price. Currently, Microsoft seems more aggressive to extend its market share in this segment.
Now, Apple is going make the situation more worse for PC market by the launch of third version of its revolutionary iPad 3 tomorrow, which has higher resolution screen and number of features like better screen, faster processor, high end camera and speedier network connection. The company sold 15.4 million iPad in Q4 last year, which was twice in numbers than the number of iPads sold in the same quarter a year ago. iPad alone contributed 20% to the company’s total revenue in Q4 last year.
Recently, at a Goldman Sachs investors conference, Apple’s CEO—Tim Cook—said, “From the first day it shipped, we thought — not just me, many of us thought at Apple — that the tablet market would become larger than the PC market, and it was just a matter of the time that it took for that to occur.”
Last year, Amazon came into the market with its low-price ($199) Kindle Fire Tablet.Though, the company shipped 3.8 million Tablets in Q4 alone, official sales figures are not out yet. Expectations are also riding high that numbers of Android and Windows 8 OS based Tablets are being ready to debut by various hardware manufacturers later this year. Android is already leading and one can not out-rate Windows 8 much in Tablet market as Microsoft has recorded 1 million downloads of its Windows 8 consumer preview within 24 hours of the launch at MWC, Barcelona, last week.
Undoubtedly, the introduction of iPad in 2010 has been cannibalizing the shipment of Windows PCs and somewhat to the Macs. The global expansion of Tablets has lethally affected Netbooks’ market which has strictly declined too in the last couples of years. Users are more fascinated towards smart and portable Tablet instead of bulky traditional PC.
It would be interesting to see the shift of users’ behavior in next couple of quarters which will set the future survival of PC market.