The days when PCs ruled the computer market are quickly coming to a close. The familiar battle between PCs and Macs is quickly morphing into an iOS versus Android landscape. As consumers opt for tablets over PCs, shipments of Wintel devices will drop to 65 percent in 2013 amid double-digit tablet growth.

After PC shipments fell 10 percent during the holiday fourth quarter of 2010, the 2013 PC marketshare will drop to 65 percent, down from 72 percent last year, according to researchers at Canalys. The reason: PCs – be they desktops, notebooks, or netbooks – are no longer needed for common computing tasks, such as reading e-mail and browsing the web…

“Pads and, increasing, smart phones can perform many of the day-to-day computing tasks that most people require,” Pin-Chen Tang, Canalys research analyst, said Thursday. Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told interviewers he’s “ditched” his keyboard for the iPad. To make his point, Canalys forecasts touch-screen devices (including the iPad, iPhone and ‘hybrids’ such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro) will account for 59 percent of all PCs shipped in 2016.

For Microsoft, attempts to adapt to the changes could be too little, too late.

Windows 8, designed to breath new life into the PC market, is expected to have the very opposite effect. Along with having to learn a new operating system, “it is perceived that a PC with a touch-screen is needed to get the best user experience,” analyst Tom Evans said. “In the current economic climate, this will be enough to make people delay purchases as they wait for prices to fall.”

As for Intel’s push to create the Ultrabook in order for PCs to compete with inexpensive Macs, such as the MacBook Air, the research firm believes more options only add to consumer confusion. “Now buyers must decide  between an Ultrabook and a standard notebook, a touch-screen and a non-touch-screen, as well as an increasing array of form-factors, such as clamshell, convertible and hybrid,” Canalys analyst Tim Coulling said. The result: more decisions and longer times to make a sale.

Noting the growing popularity of touch-screen displays, as well as the falling price of the input method, Coulling forecasts that the majority of PCs will look like the Surface. However, PC applications remain tied to the keyboard. “It is clear that Microsoft is now pushing touch as the primary input method for Windows, but keyboard and mouse are still needed for legacy applications,” he said.

The take-away: The PC market is shrinking. By this year, PC makers will have just over half of the computing marketshare. In another three years, more than half of the PCs shipped will be tablets. Additionally, the computing triad of screen, keyboard and mouse will soon shift to just screen.

  • I still use my PC/Mac.

    • Dan

      most people do, it’s just that we don’t buy them at the same frequency that we update our tablets (I don’t anyways) since we can replace certain parts and make them up to date (such as video cards, CPU’s etc)

  • Kurt

    future pcs will be your phone. you will dock it so it is hooked up to a larger screen with a keyboard a mouse, then you will use its touch features on the go. the mouse will always be around it is too good at what it does.

    • Dan

      I thought that the surface would be something similar (back when it was rumors). Figured we’d be able to hook it up to a larger screen, use a mouse and physical keyboard at home, external hard-drives, use regular windows programs printers and all the regular PC accessories.

      I look forward to the day that phones have those options!

      • Kurt

        can’t the surface RT do that? except windows programs. do you have win 8? i really do like it, but man the apps suck so far. i have my computer hooked up to my 42inch tv so playing cut the rope and other games is really cool since im used to them on my iphone and ipad. i can’t wait for more good apps to come to windows 8.

  • Unless storage space don’t go above 64gb in phone and tablet, pc will be always used .

    • Daniel

      Companies have already developed 128 GB memory chips. When they are going to implement… probably one year from now.

      • In a PC I can install 1 terabyte of hard disk , that doesn’t Even compare to 128gb and that all at the cost of 50$-100$ only. Where as apple charges more for more storage space.

  • sambuzzlight

    wow it has been about 7-8 hours and still iDB hasn’t posted the news about 6.1 releasing next week and a jailbreak soon after

  • seyss

    Tablets will only overcome PCs when Apple stop being insensitive when it comes to file system.. we need:
    – to be able to transfer files from one device to another natively and without network requirements.
    – simple folders like the user folder on Windows 7! (Documents, Video, Music, Contacts, etc)
    – codecs for almost all containers and video/audio formats (AVI,MKV,HE-AAC, WMV, etc)

    • wonderboydave

      file system? then jailbreak it when you have the chance..

      folders?? theres an app for that (pages, video player, music player, contacts can be saved via free icloud account)

      codecs?? vlc player.

      • seyss

        jailbreak is almost dead. these apps you mentioned have tons of drawbacks, such as storing a copy of the file each. vlc player has been removed from the appstore like 2 years ago.

        sorry but assfixing is not the answer

    • Hyr3m

      Tablets will never overcome PCs, because tablets are becoming either PCs or toys. Most adults want computers, not toys. Apple dominates the toys market and might have a slight chance in the computer market if they stopped putting obsolete under-powered hardware and an even crappier OS in their tablets.

  • Daniel

    As we thought CD are future, now we think the same for touch screens. I believe that this try to move your PC in 10 inch tablet is doomed.
    So, the next big step is moving to hands-free PC. However it look like.

    • Hyr3m


  • pauleebe

    If you are visiting this blog, you’re likely a tech nerd. You will always (or at least for a while into the near future) want a computer. But most people don’t have a terabyte of movies, music and photos. As others pointed out, 64Gb is enough for most, and we will continue seeing smartphone and tablet storage size double about every year or so into the future … No doubt iPad 5 will debut with 128Gb this Spring. Why? Apple can force users to upgrade yet again, and because a 64Gb iPhone means that since the iPad uses two memory chips, a 128Gb iPad (even 256Gb iPad) is a realistic expectation.

    • Hyr3m

      I would’ve thought years of seeing Apple no-pdating their devices would have taught you to lower your expectations 🙂

      • pauleebe

        What do you mean by that? Just because Apple doesn’t change the design of their product every six months (*cough* Android, PC’s), doesn’t mean they don’t ugprade them. They upgrade nearly every item on their product line at least annually.

      • Hyr3m

        Apple has always made it their point to upgrade the smallest amount of things and still sell the “new” device as something different and revolutionary.
        The best example of this is to compare the upgrade from iPhone 4 to 4S versus the 4S to 5. From 4 to 4S was a much bigger upgrade hardware-wise than 4S to 5… why is that ? because they changed the outside that much more.
        I’d say the added difference always has to be between 10-25% (design included)…
        Following this logic, the “5S” should be a bigger upgrade than the 5 was. Now you have to take into account that they’ll change the screen technology, They might just add some RAM and finally upgrade the 3 years-old camera…
        So yeah, they will increase the maximum size and maybe minimum size but don’t expect to see an entry-level 128GB iPad (unless you actually meant Gigabits (Gb) instead of Gigabytes (GB)) before 2016-17.

      • Guest

        I think you fat fingered the keyboard because the 4S to the 5 was definitely a larger hardware improvement, both in terms of performance hardware and chassis design, than the 4 to the 4S.

        The camera isn’t 3 years old, it was bumped up in the 4S from the 4 significantly – which was only 1.5 years ago at this point. The 5 did improve it slightly, too.

        The 5S will likely improve the screen ever so slightly and probably increase RAM by 1.5 – 2 times.

        And yes, I meant 128GB (bytes), we all know I wasn’t talking about gigabits, no need to be cynical.

      • Hyr3m

        Have a look at the numbers. CPU, RAM-wise and camera-wise the increase was proportionally bigger on 4 to 4S than 4S to 5. That’s a fact…
        Just because the camera was bumped up in the 4S doesn’t mean it wasn’t an already obsolete piece of hardware…
        Also, I wasn’t being cynical about the GB vs Gb, just precise and maybe a bit tongue-in-cheek ^^

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    Why can’t Apple sell an 8gb of Ram Macbook Air for 1000. Its only 100 dollar difference and just give us more storage for less.

  • AppleBits

    Excited to say my new 27″ iMac should arrive this week….
    Been saving for the darn thing for a loooong time.
    I’m always late to the party….