Many of us believe that the Apple iPad and tablets will soon eat into the PC sales market but now Gartner has some numbers to back this up.
While the Apple iPad and tablets aren’t going to immediately replace your next PC but it will have an impact on the margins. Full-fledged computers aren’t going anywhere though, as Gartner said it expects 2011 worldwide PC shipments to reach 409 million units, a 15.9% increase from 2010.
While that’s a strong number, it’s down from Gartner’s growth estimate for 2011.
“PC market growth will be impacted by devices that enable better on-the-go content consumption such as media tablets and next-generation smartphones,” said Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement. “These devices will be increasing embraced as complements if not substitutes for PCs where voice and light data consumption are desired. It is likely that desk-based PCs will be adversely impacted over the long-term by the adoption of hosted virtual desktops, which can readily use other devices like thin clients.”
I do believe that the Apple iPad and tablets will gain a lot of ground over the next few years but I still see these things as a complementary device to a traditional computer. Even with iOS 4.2, I still see my Apple iPad as a cool gadget but I have to pull out my laptop if I want to get some work done.
Maybe that will change as we start to see some more tablets with stronger horsepower and added functionality. Heck, the Apple iPad can’t even be activated without plugging it in to a computer, so don’t look for it to be a consumer’s main device for a while.
The Research In Motion Playbook looks like a credible workhorse, as it will sport a 7-inch screen, dual-core processor, multiple cameras and full support for Adobe Flash. The slew of Android tablets and the upcoming PalmPad could be very interesting too.