Trends Report

Updated Q3 2010: The US Consumer PC Market In 2015

Tablets Cannibalize Netbooks; Desktops Slide But Still Live On

August 4th, 2010
Sarah Rotman Epps, null
Sarah Rotman Epps
With contributors:
J. P. Gownder , Laura Wiramihardja , Ed Kahn


As of July 2010, when this report was updated, our conclusions about the long-term implications of the growth of tablets still hold true. In the short-term, tablet growth will be even more aggressive than we previously forecast, and we are in the process of revising our forecast upward. The CEOs of Apple and Microsoft may disagree about the future of the PC, but we see growth as consumers adopt multiple PCs to fit their lifestyle. Nearly half a billion PCs will be sold to consumers in the US between now and 2015, but the share of the market among form factors will shift considerably. Growth will come from new form factors like tablets, which will cannibalize netbook sales, while full-size laptops will constitute the largest share of the PC market. Desktops will be fewer in number but still an important segment, buoyed by growth in gaming and 3D. Product strategists should align their products to capitalize on these market shifts, with chipsets, displays, accessories, software, and content that anticipate the growth of tablets and the continued relevance of traditional PCs.

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