Tablet Shipments to Top Laptops for The First Time Ever

Due to its price points and variety, tablet shipments is set to exceed that of laptops for the first time in North America.

According to a forecast by NPD DisplaySearch's Richard Shim, popular $199 models alongside a large variety of sizes will see 2012 fourth-quarter tablet shipments increasing to 21.5 million units, "far exceeding" the 14.6 million laptops that are expected to be shipped in the same quarter.

During 2013 in North America, tablet shipments are set to exceed notebook shipments on an yearly basis for the first time. Shim predicts 80 million tablets will be shipped, as compared to 63.8 million notebooks.

"This Black Friday and the shopping season to follow will be the fuel to stoke the demand," Shim said. "The $199 price point has increasingly become the target to match or beat with the introductions of Google's $199 Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire 7."

Shim said the tablet market has vastly changed since the 9.7-inch iPad debuted in 2010. 7-inch, 7.9-inch, 8.9-inch, 10.1-inch and 10.6-inch tablet sizes have been released this year, with operating systems installed on such devices spanning iOS, Android, as well as Windows 8.

In regards to a worldwide outlook, tablet shipments aren't expected to exceed the shipments of notebooks until 2015, which is the year where 275.9 million tablets are predicted to be shipped versus 270 million notebooks.

In addition to selling over 100 million iPad units since its inception a few years ago, an analyst expects the device to sell 100 million in 2013 alone. Google's Android also accounts for a large percentage of tablets being shipped this year, which is expected to increase considerably next year.

Tablets such as Google's Asus-developed Nexus 7 has also been selling well, with the device nearing one million sales last month.


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  • kog91
    and people wonder why Microsoft made tablets the focus of Windows 8. Sure the Surface RT is pretty shaky, but they definitely know which way the wind is blowing.

    Here's hoping the Thinkpad Tablet 2 gets good reviews! Love having a stylus!!
  • halcyon
    The draw of tablets is undeniable. ...and they're just getting better and better.
  • freggo
    There is also a certain market saturation on laptops. By now everyone who needs a laptop has one and there is not much reason to replace or upgrade a laptop as long as it works.
    So naturally the sales on laptops will level off while the new toy on the block will catch up.