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Tablet Sales Jump 75%, PC Sales Slow

by Todd Haselton | January 31, 2013January 31, 2013 7:00 pm PDT

A tablet basically is a personal computer, but it’s not in the sense that it’s neither a laptop nor a desktop system. It turns out tablet sales are growing at an incredible pace, while sales of PCs are slowing. New data from IDC found that tablet sales jumped 75 percent during the holiday season in 2012, while PC sales actually fell 6.4 percent.

Total tablet sales came in at a record 52.5 million units, though, and there were a total of 89.8 million PC units sold during the same time period. So while tablets are closing in on PCs, laptop and desktop computers still have the larger slice of sales.

“New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season,” said IDC research director Tom Mainell said. “The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

The tough part will be distinguishing what’s a PC and what’s a tablet in the future. The Surface with Windows 8 Pro, for example, runs a full computer operating system but comes in the form of a real tablet. What category should it fall into?


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...