Tablets to Surpass Notebook PC Sales for First Time in 2013

Tablets will surpass notebook PC salesTablet PCs have been around for quite a few years. Only in the late 2000s did they start to become much more affordable for the average consumer. Now millions of people have iPads, Galaxies, Nexus tablets, and others. Tablets are increasingly being adopted by more and more people. 2013 is looking to be the year that they overtake their technological predecessors, the Notebook PC.

Sales Up for Tablets 

A recent report out of NPD DisplaySearch has been making headlines today. According to Sam Oliver at the Apple Insider “the latest data … calls for the tablet market to surpass notebooks in 2013.” The numbers are looking to come in around 240 million tablets shipped versus only 207 million notebooks, let alone PCs.

To put things in a more artistic and fancy perspective, we turn to the late Steve Jobs. John Paczkowski has a great report posted this morning about tablets surpassing notebook PCs on All Things D. He quotes a speech Jobs gave in 2010 when Jobs compared PCs to the trucks of our agrarian ancestors and tablets to the cars of our more urban and current relatives. “PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people,” Jobs said.

I remember seeing the iPad and all of the hubbub about tablets in 2010. I thought it was all bunk. But I can’t deny the numbers; people like tablets and they are buying them up by the millions. I’m a PC person myself, but obviously most people are not anymore. Hard to believe this shift only took two years. Then again, the internet is about content, and accessing content is pretty darn easy on a tablet.

What this Means for You

At first glance you might be thinking, “Well, that’s neat.” It’s more than that, though. Agencies, their clients, and small businesses need to pay attention to shifts in technology as this news is most definitely the first concrete sign of changing times. People will be accessing the web with tablet based browsers and platforms more frequently and in greater numbers.

This means possible design changes for websites, or at least plans to have an alternate tablet and mobile design. AJ Kumar at Entrepreneur yesterday posted about the future of Google’s search algorithm and strategy and one of the key points was that as “mobile internet usage grows, [it will change] the scope of required SEO activities.” Google has realized this and you should too. You can just as easily clump tablet browsing in with mobile, especially for the smaller sized tablets.

The big dogs are taking notice as well – this is one of Samsung’s key directions in 2013, which Poornima Gupta at Reuters reported on last night. She writes, “Samsung Electronics, the global leader in consumer smartphones, is planning two major thrusts in 2013″ one of which is “bulking up mobile content.”

Mobile and tablet technology is only going to increase in the future, and it’s going to do so rapidly. Google has already noticed, big companies are starting to notice, and you should too.

Change is Closer than You Think

Surprisingly, the shift to tablet sales dominance in much of the developing world has already taken place. The US is playing catch-up. We’re on the verge of a big shift in how we access the internet, content, and technology. Tablets (and mobile platforms) are looking to be the way forward. Make sure you have plans to adjust your strategies. Maybe it’s time I finally break down and buy a tablet too.

What will change for you once tablets become the popular way of browsing and accessing content?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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