While you will never truly kill off the desktop PC, you can start to integrate the feature of laptop and tablets into the systems. All-in-one, touchscreen PC’s are the best example of all three devices being combined into one, fully functional device. The traditional laptop however, that’s a different story.
For the first time, laptop display shipments have been surpassed by their touch capable tablet brethren. While it’s a far cry from signalling the death knell of the laptop, it’s a trend that is only likely to continue.
Since the release of Apple's iPad, tablet sales have been growing at a phenomenal rate. And with great competition in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet range, Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, it’s never been better to purchase a tablet.
There is a theory that tablets, with a quicker hardware refresh cycle, will be replaced by consumers, without too much thought, every two years, whereas laptops can hold their value for longer. It’s this theory that could explain the new shipment figures. DisplaySearch has given their take on the situation:
- Laptop PC supply chains have slow moving inventory – panel shipments were down nearly four million units in Q3
- OEMs bought fewer displays, preparing for new designs due to Windows 8
- Tablets are being purchased as gifts for the holiday season, causing makers to buy more stock
While tablets, in general, are estimated to sell upwards of 21.5 million units, over 14.6 million laptops, in Q4, laptop hybrid devices are most likely being classes as tablets as well, so this is probably skewing the figures. However, how much is anyones guess right now!