Tablets: Complementary to PCs, not competitive
Though in the short term, tablet computers will undoubtedly take away from the sales of traditional PCs, the devices will eventually be seen as complementary to one another rather than competitive.
According to a report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA), tablets are expected to displace nearly 10 percent of PC sales by 2014. However, much of this trend will be built around the hype of the new and exciting technology. As tablet growth begins to level off, the devices' complementary role will become clearer.
GIA notes that this relationship will be especially evident between tablets and desktop PCs. The two devices seem almost made for one another. While desktops lack the portability of tablet computers, they generally make up for it in functionality and power. Tablets, on the other hand, typically have limited processing power, and their capabilities have not yet been fully explored. But their convenience as a portable and effective tool is unquestioned.
The PC market has struggled in recent years, particularly compared to the strong growth of the tablet. However, sales are expected to pick up in the near future, with worldwide PC shipments projected to hit 528 million units in 2016, according to IDC. Much of this growth will be based on new innovations in the market, as well as the establishment of the roles of new devices like the tablet and smartphone.