Canalys issued a new report on Wednesday which predicts that tablets will almost out-ship all other PC form factors combined next year, forming almost 50% of the total client PC market (that includes desktops, notebooks, and tablets).
In Q3 of 2013, the worldwide client PC market grew 18% despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline. All told, tablet PC shipments accounted for 40% of PC shipments last quarter, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments.
Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017.
It will come as no surprise that the report indicates that Apple and Samsung are expected to keep ahead of their competitors in the short term, “but there could be challenges for both vendors as competition in the tablet market continues to heat up.”
Canalys forecasts that Microsoft will take only 5% of the tablet PC market in 2014.
“To improve its [Microsoft’s] position it must drive app development and better utilize other relevant parts of its business to round out its mobile device ecosystem,” says Canalys Research Analyst Pin Chen Tang. “A critical first step is to address the coexistence of Windows Phone and Windows RT. Having three different operating systems to address the smart device landscape is confusing to both developers and consumers alike.”