Global tablet shipments are expected to surpass PCs for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new report.
IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker siad the rise would be mainly driven by consumers' preference for mobile devices over laptops and desktops.
It also revealed that the market for PCs, tablets and smartphones, would rise 27.8% in 2013, a bit lower than the 30.3% in 2012.
The overall growth is anticipated to be driven by tablet and smartphone shipments, while PC outlook has been reduced by 10%.
IDC said shipments for PCs would still be greater than tablets for the full year, but shipments for tablet would top PC on an annual basis by the late 2015.
Smartphone shipments are also expected to reach 1.4 billion units by 2015, accounting for 69% of all smart connected device shipments globally.
The global smart connected device market is expected to rise 10.6% in shipment value, while smart connected device value would reach $622.4bn in 2013, with $423.1bn coming from the sub-$350 smartphone and sub-$350 tablet segments.
IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker Research Analyst Megha Saini said:"Introducing new handsets and tablet devices at cheaper price points along with special initiatives like trade-in programs from Apple and BestBuy will accelerate the upgrade cycle and expand the total addressable market overnight," Saini said.
Meanwhile, inexpensive devices are anticipated to drive global interest and attract first-time buyers in commercial sectors such as education.
IDC said it expects a new round of device cannibalisation to kick in with large-screen smartphones impacting the smaller tablet market.
IDC's clients and displays program VP Bob O'Donnell said:"Over the next 12-18 months, however, we believe the larger smartphones, commonly called 'phablets', will start to eat into the smaller-size tablet market, contributing to a slower growth rate for tablets," O'Donnell said.
By the end of 2015, the global smart connected device shipments are expected to surpass two billion units with a market value of $735.1bn.
Overall PC sales are expected to plunge 13% by 2017, with tablets and smartphones contributing 16.5% and 70.5% respectively to the overall market, driving average selling price (ASP) for the combined market from $462 in 2012 to $323 in 2017.