Given the popularity of tablets in recent years, and the fact that many use them as a PC replacement for at least some tasks (some people are even replacing their PCs with tablets), the question arises as to whether tablets should be considered as PCs.
There’s been a lot of thought given to this – and I, for one, side with the idea that they should. Tablets are replacing traditional PC tasks, and today’s tablets can do as much as desktop computers could just a handful of years ago.
Whether or not you feel tablets should be counted as PCs, the latest numbers from IDC (via GigaOM) show a pretty fascinating trend. According to their most recent stats, 27.7 million tablets were sold between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012. By comparison, PC sales slid last quarter, making up around 87.7 million sales.
That means tablets now account for nearly a fourth of all sales when considering PC and tablet sales as a whole. That, coupled with the fact that tablet sales are growing as PC sales shrink, reveals a fascinating trend, and suggests that tablet sales are replacing PC sales to some degree.
It’s especially interesting when you consider that the tablet industry as a whole (starting with the iPad, which redefined the tablet market) is less than 2.5 years old. It won’t be long before tablets actually outsell PCs entirely.
GigaOM expresses my thoughts on this quite well:
However, in this new mobile era, there are a growing number of people that simply don’t need a PC any longer. The smartphone with its ubiquitous connectivity and ability to fit in a pocket makes it a Swiss Army knife of applications on the go. And when you need a larger screen to more comfortably create or consume content, the tablet is filling the role of a PC more and more. Still not convinced? Wait for this holiday season and see which market grew more or had blow-out sales: tablets or PCs. My money is on the tablet, just as it has been for the past few years.
So, should tablets count as PCs? I’ll leave that up to you – but as far as numbers are concerned, it’s a pretty difficult idea to dispute!