Tablet sales are now gaining popularity with consumers. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research and analysis firm specializing in consumer technology, tablet sales help drive overall growth in the global market of smart devices, as the market shifts toward a mobile setting.

Tablet Growth, PC Decline

IDC has recently posted a new report covering the full year of 2012, and included it’s projections through 2017. The technology analyst noted that last year’s market expansion was “largely driven” by an influx in tablet shipments reaching 78.4% and exceeding 128 million units. However, this is expected to be just the beginning of the rise of tablets, as IDC projects tablet sales to pass desktop computers in 2013, and even laptops by the year 2014.

Tablet Sales May Surpass Desktop Sales This Year

Altogether, global shipments of smart devices grew 29.1% year over year in 2012, pushing the entire market past 1 billion units shipped and bringing the total market value to $576.9 billion.

The market research firm predicts tablets to grow from 10.7% in 2012, to approximately 16% by 2017, bringing its projected growth to a rate of 174.5% from 2012 to 2017.

The desktop PC category is expected to have a decline in growth of -5% and could slide from 12.4% share in 2012 to 6% share by 2017.

Portable PCs are also expected to decline in shares, and are projected to drop from a 16.8% share in 2012 to a lowly 11% by 2017.

For the portable category as a whole, IDC is predicting a growth of 19.3% from 2012 to 2017, however the bulk of that growth will come from tablets and smartphones. The smartphones being projected to grow by 109.9%.

Consumers Value Portability

Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President for Clients and Displays said in a statement,  “Consumers and business buyers are now starting to see smartphones, tablets, and PCs as a single continuum of connected devices separated primarily by screen size. Each of these devices is primarily used for data applications and different individuals choose different sets of screen sizes in order to fit their unique needs. These kinds of developments are creating exciting new opportunities that will continue to drive the smart connected devices market forward in a positive way.”

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