Steve Jobs was right: Tablet sales set to topple the PC market

ipad

At the Wall Street Journal‘s D8 conference back in 2010, Steve Jobs predicted that tablets such as the iPad would eventually overtake the personal computer for the majority of people. Five years after he made that prediction, it seems as though it may be set to come true.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide shipments of tablets will top the PC market by next year — with traditional PCs and laptops shipping a combined 317 million units in the year, while tablet shipments will top 320 million. This year, tablets ship in the region of 256 million, against 308 million PCs.

During Apple’s last earnings call this year, Tim Cook boasted that iPad is the fastest selling product in Apple history.

However, tablet sales are starting to slow down, aided by the rise of “phablet” smartphone devices such as Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 6, which is likely to arrive in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants. This market will continue to surge, Gartner says — representing 66 percent of global mobile phone sales this year, and likely to jump to 88 percent by 2018.

Still, it’s amazing to see tablets — a category that has only qualified as mass-market for a half-decade — appear set to overtake a long-established 30+ market like PCs. Seems like Steve Jobs knew a thing or two about changing tech trends, eh?

  • Hildebrand

    Jobs never predicted it would be 2015, so the colon should be a comma.

  • Hildebrand

    The iPad is not a new market overtaking another. It’s taking a share in the 30 year old existing market for personal computing. It’s only outselling PCs because PCs existed in the first place.

  • Amit SaMy

    That’s why Steve was called a visionary genius.

    • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

      Thousands of other people made the same prediction, are they all visionary geniuses?

  • http://smoke.livejournal.com/ Smoke Tetsu

    The reason why tablets are outselling PCs is because people don’t replace their PCs as often and many are satisfied with the power of the ones they already have.

  • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

    People for some reason think they need a new tablet every year. People know better about PCs and know they last years.

  • Igal Schneider

    2010 was 4 years ago

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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