PC’s v’s Tablets – It’s a matter of time

IDC yesterday published their Worldwide PC shipment preliminary estimates for Q4 and 2012 and they are even lower than previously forecast, showing an overall decline (year-on-year) in the quarter of some 6.4% with the whole of 2012 being down 3.2% on 2011.

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The last three years figures are as follows (millions of units):

  • 2010 – 346.8
  • 2011 – 363.9
  • 2012 – 352.4

At a macro level they, to use that overworked word, are flatlining.

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A while back we used some Gartner & IDC data to project when tablet sales/shipments might overtake PC’s and we saw a crossover on a linear trend projection in 2021/22.

Since then the major change, we think is this flatlining of PC sales which previously had shown some growth.

Using our estimate of say 40 million sales of tablets in Q4 a linear projection now with the updated PC figures would indicate a crossover in Q3 or 4 of 2016.

If the Q4 tablet sales turn out to be 50 million that would bring it back by a year to the end of 2015.

So maybe Tim Cook was right in that its not if it’s when. Time will tell!

Source: Primarily IDC We have used their quarterly preliminary figures which may have subsequently been revised.

IDC Press release Q4 2012 January 10 2013

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