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Tablet Sales To Top PC Sales This Christmas: IDC

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. – Stockings will be stuffed with tablets this Christmas, according to IDC.

The research firm expects tablet shipments to surpass the combined total of laptops and desktops for the fourth quarter of 2013. PCs will retain their leadership position for the full year and 2014, but IDC is forecasting that tablets will surpass PCs on an annual basis by 2015.

Looking at the entire connected-device market as a whole, which is comprised of desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, IDC expect a 27.8 percent gain year over year in 2013. This is slightly less than the 30.3 percent growth posted in 2012.

Shipment dollar value growth will be 10.6 percent to $622.4 billion this year. Growth is expected to slow below the double-digit range over the next several years, with the dollar value hitting $735.1 billion by 2015.

The entry of large numbers of lower cost, sub-$350 smartphones and tablets is expected to keep sales high and boost interest among first time buyers.

IDC also noted several other trends now taking place. Bob O’Donnell, IDC’s program VP, clients and displays, said phablets — smartphones 5 inches and larger — can be expected to start cannibalizing sales of 7- and 8-inch tablets in the next 12 to 18 months. In addition, the smartphone-upgrade cycle can be expected to increase as lower prices, special incentives and trade-in programs gain momentum.