After a study suggested that a surge in tablet shipments would exceed that of laptops, tablet display shipments officially topped notebooks during October.
"In a milestone for the global industry, in October tablet PC panel shipments exceeded those of notebook PC panels," NPD DisplaySearch said today within a research note.
Due to the fact that display panel shipments are the leading indicator for device shipments, "it can be seen that tablet PCs are threatening to overtake notebooks," said DisplaySearch.
The firm broke the figures down:
- Inventory buildup in laptops: The notebook PC supply chain has some slow-moving inventory... and panel shipments declined by almost 4 million units from September to October.
- Shift to Windows 8: Notebook PC panel buyers bought fewer displays as they prepared for new Windows 8 designs.
- Tablet shipment surge: Tablet shipments soared to build inventory for the holidays.
"October panel shipments could be a special case," noted DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh. He said tablets "have been the hottest" category for displays throughout the duration of 2012 thus far.
The company had recently predicted that increasingly popular $199 models and a wider variety of screen sizes will see 2012 fourth quarter tablet shipments increase to 21.5 million units, subsequently "far exceeding" the 14.6 million laptops expected to be shipped during the same period.