Tablet PCs and Touch Laptops Expected to Drive Mobile PC Shipments Through 2017 – NPD DisplaySearch

The mobile PC market is projected to increase from the 367.6 million units shipped in 2012 to 762.7 million globally by 2017, driven by touch-enabled form factors, according to NPD DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report. NPD says bulk of this shift will come as tablet PCs begin to replace notebook PCs this year as the dominant mobile PC form factor, and touch becomes a key feature in mobile PC adoption.

The mobile PC industry is undergoing significant change this year, says NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst Richard Shim. The rapid rise and establishment of white box tablet PCs (that would be tablets made by small local brands, mainly in China) is putting pressure on traditional notebook PCs. These low-cost tablets are reaching further into emerging regions where notebook PC penetration rates have remained low, resulting in cannibalization by tablet PCs.

Tablet PC shipments are forecast to increase 67% year-over-year to 256.5 million in 2013, and reach 579.4 million by 2017. White box tablet PCs accounted for one-third of tablet PC shipments in 2012 and will maintain at that level for the next several years.

Notebook PC shipments are expected to decline 10% over the next four years, from 203.3 million in 2013 down to 183.3 million in 2017, but there will be pockets of growth. Shipments of notebooks with touch capabilities are expected to grow 48% Y/Y in 2014. In the notebook category, touch will be used mainly in ultra-slim PCs, which includes Intel-specified Ultrabooks, the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pros (no touchscreens on Mac laptops as yet), and other slim form factor notebooks. Ultra-slims, which are at the premium end of the notebook market, are forecast to account for two-thirds of touch-enabled notebooks in 2013, and NPD projects that by 2017, they will be 80%. Intels recent third-generation Ultrabook specification (using the companys next generation Haswell processors) that mandates touch support will also accelerate adoption.

New operating systems such as Windows 8 are unlikely to be a major driver of touch adoption, NPD says. Rather, penetration of touch in notebook PCs will be driven by cost reduction and new form factors, such as hybrids, sliders, and convertibles.

Thus far, Windows 8 has had a limited impact on driving touch adoption in notebook PCs, due to a lack of applications needing touch and the high cost of touch on notebook PCs, comments Mr. Shim. Form factors aimed at differentiation from standard clamshell notebooks will help to drive consumer adoption of touch-enabled notebook PCs, starting in the second half of 2013.

The NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report covers the entire range of mobile PC products shipped worldwide and regionally. With analysis of global and regional brands, the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report provides an objective, expert view of the market with insight into historical shipments, revenues, forecasts, and more. For more information visit:

Read NPD’s blogs at:

Or follow on Twitter at @DisplaySearch and @npdgroup

The full NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report is available at:

See our price trackers for up-to-date Apple prices