Analyst – tablets to overtake PC by 2020 with iPad leading the pack

Friday, 1st June 2012 13:59 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Piper Jaffray analysts believe that by 2020 the market share of tablets will best the PC market, with iPad holding the lion’s share, according to eWeek. The analysts predict total tablet sales will reach 301 million units by 2015, with iPad claiming 176 million of units sold. In contrast, the PC market will hit 484 million units by 2015, and by 2020 tablets could overtake PC sales. Thanks, PC World.



  1. Pytox

    screw that

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    I don’t even have a tablet. I have to admit, I drooled a bit over a Samsung Galaxy Note a few weeks back at Best Buy, but the price tag made me roll my eyes so hard I strained them.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    @2 lol

    I love how these clowns come up with such stupid ‘predictions’ just to get their names in the paper. Who gives a shit? We will all probably be dead by 2020 when the end of the world is set to arrive – again…..

    #3 3 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    I see what the guy is saying. And maybe he is right. But just because something sells more, doesn’t mean it replaces something else. Esp when talking about the video game market. When I can play Civ V, Guild wars 2, Torchlight II, and more from a tablet, displaying on my HD TV, while using a mouse and KB, we can talk.

    And honestly, I can see that happening someday. But not for awhile.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Llewelyn_MT


    Not going to happen. Not by a long shot. Tablets are just glorified PDAs.

    #5 3 years ago

    Of course tablets are going to take over!

    But tablets ARE PC’s!

    That’s why Windows 8 is tablet focused. Seriously, this morning, I was just thinking that if my iPad was A4 sized, had the same or higher resolution as it currently does, with more power, a dedicated graphics chip and didn’t get too hot, I’d probably never turn my laptop on.

    Anyway, that’s basically what the next gen of ultrabooks is going to be.

    The future of laptops are basically a tablet with a dockable keyboard that can function as a full desktop replacement.

    If you want a desktop, just plug in an HDMI cable, and you’re away.

    Honestly, when Microsoft decides that it wants to push us all down the touch screen road, there isn’t much we can o about it.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. dirtysock

    As technology and specifically hardware become faster, cheaper, and grow at an increasing rate and people become more tech savvy I think people will be flocking more and more towards PCs. It will be the cheaper and.much more capable machine. It allows users to easily purchase and replcae parts when it is necessary and convenient for them. People that purchase tablets, even top of the line ones soon will find that they are quickly outdated and in order to.keep up will need to purchase another.

    But from a sales statistic standpoint I can see how this could seem likely, but taking other things into consideration I believe it is unlikely.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    Tablet growth is predicted to be much higher than PC growth. Thus by 2020 they expect it to overtake.

    (edit – oh you realised and editted :) )

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Llewelyn_MT

    @8: Making prediction for 8 years ahead based on the sales growth in the first 3 years on the market? All that for an electronic device? I would get fired if I ever did such a stupid call. That’s because I’m not an analyst.

    PCs are more affordable every day and are used everywhere in the world. A tablet is a silly consumer device, more of a toy then anything else.

    I edited my post because it was too long and boring.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DrDamn

    And mathematically flawed…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Llewelyn_MT

    @10: It’s funny for you to say that, comparing it to the predictions taken out of thin air. The wording of this post is confusing. Where I live “total sales” is from the beginning to the given date.

    Tablet PCs used to have an integrated keyboard. They just didn’t include “Steve Jobs’ mojo”.

    #11 3 years ago


    I saw your post, and the part about knowing how to read is even more funny now… Hehe!

    Anyway, I can’t see your average consumer going for a PC, when they can carry one around that has exactly the same power, but is the size of a book, and they can just plug it into a tv/monitor anyway.

    And who says that the future tablets can’t be upgraded?

    Honestly, I hate Apple for my own reasons, but I’ve been on my iPad almost non-stop for the last few days, and I only really use my PC for graphics work and watching Flash videos…

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Llewelyn_MT

    It’s purely a First World Problem. The further you live from a city the less need for portable computing. There are PCs everywhere while I doubt there are many tablets (or desire for tablets) in the developing world. Unless the price is cut to reflect their usability and practicality it’s not going to happen. Not in 2020, not ever.

    Tablet is a toy and a PC is a cheap and universal device.

    #13 3 years ago

    How is a tablet a toy?

    The latest ones probably have a higher Windows rating than the PC you’re using right now.

    They run Windows 8 In 64-bit and can render HD video faster than a high end PC could just a few years ago.

    Laptops already outsell desktops now anyway, so tablets are just the next step.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DrDamn

    Ah I see :)

    “The further you live from a city the less need for portable computing.” … “Tablet is a toy and a PC is a cheap and universal device.”

    I think these statements are tempered by what *you* use a PC for and not what the majority use it for. For a lot of people it’s about browsing, consuming content and email. Portable means you can do those things in the garden, living room, bedroom. Whether you are in a city or not makes no difference to that.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. manamana

    Just to let you guys know: I never knew if I needed one and now that I have one, I can’t see why I need something else. Day and night, in bed, at work, in the plane or train or outside – I have my iPad with me. To surf the interwebs and youtube, write and read Emails, drawing/sketching, doing notes and last but not least for playing. Nobody can downtalk me how precious this piece of hardware has become for my life. Oh, btw. my MacBookPro is more of a working station. You don’t pull that beast out just to look something up on google, you know.

    #16 3 years ago

    I concur that iPads are indeed addictive.

    However, I am loathe to buy any other Apple products…

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Llewelyn_MT

    First and foremost: Any device running a desktop OS (including tablet PCs) is considered a PC in the above calculations.

    @14: It’s not a tablet, it’s a tablet PC. They have as much in common as an apple and a pineapple.

    Windows Index is useless as a measure of anything.

    @15: Imagine you are living in a small town with a rudimentary GPRS (i.e. 2G) mobile internet. Would you really need a tablet or we you were only told you need one?

    Is a tablet any better then a laptop for emailing? Watching video? I know a tablet with a case, keyboard and a kickstand is just as good, but I still can’t comprehend why people thing it’s better.

    #18 3 years ago

    I’ve been talking about tablet PCs since comment 6…

    #19 3 years ago
  20. manamana

    ^ @18 because you wont unless you have one.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. _LarZen_

    I have no doubt that tablets wil replace laptops and in some grade stationary pcs in the years to come.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DSB

    It’s really just a question of size. If you can get the same in a tablet that you do in a PC, maybe even with a simpler system, then it’s a no-brainer.

    I think it has the potential to merge into one. It just requires cutting edge hardware to shrink.

    @12 Is your iPad new? Everyone I’ve known to get an iPad has been like “I barely use my computer anymore!” until the infatuation ends, then they’re like “Eh, I’m going to use it when I go camping. Or take a dump.”

    #22 3 years ago

    Yeah, it’s new.

    It’d be interesting if I ever got bored of it, because I mostly use it for the internet, and until I get bored of clicking through my favourites list, like I’ve been doing almost daily for the last 10 or more years, I can’t see why I’d go back to using my laptop.

    The most addictive thing for me right now is probably downloading new apps. I have 3 pages of games, most of which I haven’t opened yet, for example. I also have loads of useful apps that I use all the time, though. Like the spreadsheet app that I have…

    I initially only got one to help with my Arabic studies, but I’m using it for loads of other stuff as well.

    It’s just so convenient. Press an app icon and it’s there. Hardly any loading, and there’s hardly ever a need to turn it off.

    The main flaws right now are the lack of a Word replacement, although apparently MS are working on an MS Office app, and the lack of Flash.

    Other than that, I’m really hyped for the next gen of tablet PCs, because of how much I’ve been stuck on this thing.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 That sounds very familiar.

    It’s not that anyone I know regrets their purchase, but the verdict as I’ve gotten it is “If you’re working a lot, it’s invaluable” because it helps you stay in touch and/or relax in transit, or any of the other small breaks you might get.

    But there does seem to be a bit of a honeymoon period :P

    Of course then there’s also stuff like watching TV in bed or bringing your library of books with you where ever you go, which is always going to be awesome. I’m very much on the same boat, I dislike Apple, but I still want one of their gadgets.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Phoenixblight


    Flash will being going away like the dodo in the next year and once that happens everything will be HTML5 based which can be used with Ios and android.

    #25 3 years ago

    @24: Well, if you do get one, I’d say go all out and get the 64GB 4G.

    It’s expensive, but at least you don’t have to worry about swapping data or finding wifi.

    @25: that’s all very nice, but it doesn’t help me watch anything that I want to see now… Besides, in the next year or so, I plan on getting one of the newest dockable ultrabooks, so it shouldn’t matter by that stage.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Ireland Michael

    @22 Honestly, I barely do use my PC since getting one. Then again, my PC is a piece of shit that lags just trying to load a 320 YouTube video…

    @26 The majority of larger sites have been ditching Flash completely in favor of HTML5, especially on mobile platforms. Even Adobe are reducing their support for it. They’ve halted all development of mobile Flash beyond security updates in favor of focusing their attention elsewhere. Flash is a pretty outdated thing at this point, and will be largely irrelavent in a couple of years.

    RE the article: I don’t see this happening. I’m not saying they’re not popular or relevant (christ, I’m typing this up on an iPad!), but this market is going to hit a ceiling eventually, where the sales numbers will simply stop climbing significantly.

    Apples and oranges. People are still going to want laptops for specific purposes and the lovely convenience of a keyboard, whereas a tablet tends to be more for luxury purposes – sitting in bed watching a movie, playing a game on the couch, etc. it also tends to have a less penetratable price point.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Stephany Nunneley

    @22 My Mom’s husband bought an iPad second gen so he could do billing on the fly when hauling horses to the breeding shed and the track, and also to keep his schedule neat and tidy. Now, less than a year later, he just uses it to play Frogger.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Phoenixblight


    I have an android tablet by Asus which I use for browsing,emails and games and I also have a dock and keyboard attachment for it that is where I see Tablets moving forward. It weighs less than a laptop and I can take it anywhere and do everything a laptop can do.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. manamana

    @DSB well, I’m happy to tell you, that my honeymoon period lasts since iPad1 ;-)

    #30 3 years ago


    Exactly. According to one of the links I posted above, Asus are set to unveil a Windows version of the Transformer next week!

    I wanted to get a Zenbbok, but I think I’ll wait after that news…

    Again, for me, the biggest problem with tablets is no serious software. Especially MS Office.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    @26 Yeah, that’s always going to be my choice once I do buy a gadget. It’s rarely worth getting in on the lowest tier. If I’m gonna pay a million billion to get a small doodad, I’m gonna make sure it’s worth keeping :P

    @30 Hey, great! But is that even including the new one? Even some of the Apple fanboys I know are less than impressed with it. It sounds to me like they basically just traded higher res for less battery time.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. manamana

    No I sticked to the old one, my wife has got the new one. The battery time is ok but the chip barely handels the new resolution on effect heavy 3D games. But thats not what she uses it for anyway… I’m waiting for the next installement :-D

    #33 3 years ago
  34. TheWulf

    That’s a bit of wishful thinking. And I say that as an iPad owner.

    Also, G1G’s (I’m not typing his full name, there is too much leet, there) outburst is terrifying to me. The very reason that tablets won’t replace personal computers is the reason he doesn’t understand.

    A personal computer has an open architecture, in regards to both the OS and the hardware. This is why the PC market is still a hundred times bigger than any tablet app market. So again, wishful thinking. Also, developers can sell shit from their own sites on the PC, do you really think they’d give that up in favour of having to go through an app store?

    The only thing that’s going to replace the PC is an open architecture tablet. Until that happens, the PC is going to be around.

    Perhaps by 3030 we’ll have the technology available to do open architecture tablets, and that’ll finally put the nail in the PC coffin. But I can safely say that this isn’t going to happen in our lifetime. Anyone can feel free to prove me wrong, though. But yeah, I don’t see it happening. The market for tablets is still TINY at the moment compared to the software market for PCs.

    Not to mention that there’s much more money involved in the PC market.

    Why sell an app for 69p when you can sell it on the PC for ten quid (and people will pay for it)?

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Phoenixblight


    Is that why MS and Apple have based their new OS around the Tablet? THey apparently don’t know the secret you do.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. TheWulf


    Learn to read, guy.

    Microsoft have never said that they’re pursuing tablets exclusively, they just said that they’re opening up their market. Now, what developer would be stupid enough to not broaden their horizons when given the chance?

    That Windows 8 CAN run on a tablet doesn’t mean that Microsoft is suddenly favouring the tablet over the PC, that’s the kind of fallacy I’d expect to hear from a Huckleberry Finn intellect, not from you.

    Think first, then type.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Phoenixblight


    Have you tried WIndows 8 beta? How it handles is almost exactly like a tablet as if its their focus most of the controls are based around touchscreen. Its just as bad as when Xbox live changed the dashboard to fit with the kinect.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. absolutezero

    I have a phone for nearly everything a tablet can do.

    I have a PC for everything else.

    I have no need for a tablet what so ever. In fact I have no idea what I would do with one if I had it.

    I have a Kindle, its been un-used for the better part of a year. Its not its fault I would just rather read a book, just like I would rather use a keyboard instead of tapping, and my monitor.

    A tablet with a dock, thats the same power as a desktop PC, that wirelessly could connect to say a TV thats beyond 1080p, or a monitor, that has a battery life comparable to say a wireless mouse?

    Maybe that would interest me, only if I could open up its guts and tinker about. Only if it has enough space to fit in my 100+GBs of music.


    I can’t really see the PC vanishing from industry either. So there will always be enthusiasts there to pick over what super powerful industry level tech there is.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. DSB

    @38 I think the difference is in how it accomodates multimedia, not in how you use it as a tool, strictly speaking.

    Bigger screen means a better experience watching movies or reading e-books, and stronger hardware means you can do more with games.

    Personally I wouldn’t hate the fact that it was also easier to type on, and likely browse on, but obviously a lot of the features are also offered by smartphones.

    I don’t think anyone is talking about a replacement though. I think there’s a chance that PCs and tablets may one day be one and the same. 70 years ago the infrastructure of a Commodore 64 would’ve taken up a small house.

    The PC in its current form has been around all of 30 years, relatively speaking. Miniaturization is far from science fiction.

    #39 3 years ago



    I don’t think you understood what I wrote. I’m talking about tablet PCs. The next step in the progression of laptops.

    Essentially, all they are is a touch-screen, ultra low form factor laptop with no keyboard.

    If you can buy a barebones laptop, I don’t understand why hardware manufacturers wouldn’t continue to sell tablet versions if the demand was there.

    So that would basically mean that anyone could build their own tablet if they were proficient enough, just like people build their own laptops right now.

    So you could stick what you want on there… Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, Ubuntu or maybe even DOS if you really wanted.

    Open hardware, open software, no?

    Am I missing something?

    All I’m saying is that, IMO, these things are going to replace desktop PCs eventually.

    What average joe is going to want to be tied to a noisy, whirring, heat blasting, dust magnet PC when they can have a tablet that does everything exactly the same, and more?

    #40 3 years ago

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