On the eve of Apple’s expected announcement of a fifth-generation iPad and a souped-up iPad mini 2 with Retina display, a new report from Gartner says while global shipments of devices for 2013 will climb 4.5 percent over last year, the tablet’s gain is the PC’s loss.
Why? Because consumers are tightening their purse strings, that’s why:
Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.32 billion units in 2013, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. The market is being driven by a shift to lower-priced devices in nearly all device categories.
In simple numbers, here’s the snapshot from a digital world ditching larger computing devices for smaller ones:
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook): 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012
Mobile phone shipments: up 3.7 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.
Tablet shipments: up 53.4 percent, with shipments reaching 184 million units
This race to the bottom in terms of pricing puts more pressure on Apple and its relatively expensive line of tablets as rivals like Samsung and Microsoft with lower-priced offerings nip at the heels of the Cupertino tech giant:
Premium tablets are faced with continued price decline in the 7-inch form factor as a larger number of consumers prefer smaller form factors when it comes to content consumption. A recent consumer study that Gartner conducted in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., the U.S. and Japan confirmed Gartner’s long-standing assumption that smaller is better when it comes to consumer tablets. The survey showed that the average screen sizes of the tablets in use across the countries ranged from 8.3 inches to 9.5 inches. Forty-seven percent of the 21,500 consumers surveyed owned a tablet that was 8 inches or less.
So with that in mind, it will be very interesting to see what sort of pricing Apple unveils tomorrow when it reportedly launches the iPad 5 and the iPad mini 2.
Stay tuned and follow me as I live-blog the event at SV.com