The “post-PC” era may not have an official starting point, but this may have to do for now. According to NPD DisplaySearch, this is the season in which tablet sales will finally outpace laptop sales in the U.S. market.
Senior Analyst Richard Shim writes in the company blog this week that in Q4 tablet shipments will hit 21.5 million units -- not only matching but far surpassing the 14.6 million projected for notebook sales. “Starting in 2013 in North America, tablet shipments are expected to exceed notebook shipments on an annual basis for the first time,” he writes. On a global basis, notebooks will still out-ship tablets until 2015.
Shim writes that in the U.S. some natural life cycle forces are affecting the shift, including the high penetration of PCs in the home (over 70%). Moreover, consumer preference has shifted dramatically to devices. This holiday season especially has seen a clutter of offerings and the achingly low $199 price point become the target for most.