May 28, 2013 – Shipments of tablet devices are expected to grow 59 percent year-over-year in 2013, reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units in 2012, according to a new forecast from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, as the slumping PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second straight year. The research firm expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015.

"What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm, with mobile being the primary benefactor," said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's Mobility Trackers, in a statement.

"Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them,” Reith said. “IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC."

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet “revolution,” IDC says the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price for tablets is expected to drop 11 percent to $381. In comparison, the average selling price of a PC in 2013 is nearly twice that at $635.

IDC expects tablet prices to decrease further, which will allow vendors to deliver a “viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.”

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