Tablets set to pass computers

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Tablets set to pass computers

Tablet-computer shipments will top personal computers for the first time in the fourth quarter, according to a new report by researcher IDC, as consumers continue to favor mobile devices over laptops and desktops.

Tablet shipments will hit 84.1 million units in the fourth quarter, compared with 83.1 million for PCs, according to data published by IDC yesterday. The total market for Internet-connected devices of desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets will rise 28 percent to $622.4 billion in 2013 and hit $735.1 billion by the end of 2015, the research group said.

The growth of smartphones and tablets is making up for a projected 10 percent decline in PC sales this year. The shift to mobile devices is creating new winners and losers in the technology industry. While Apple, Google and Samsung Electronics have benefited, stalwarts of the PC business such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Intel have seen stagnating sales.

As the market for smartphones and tablets matures, lower-cost models are becoming more popular, according to Framingham, a Massachusetts-based IDC. Smartphones and tablets costing less than $350 will account for 68 percent of all connected-device shipments, the group said. The average selling price for the gadgets will shrink to $323 by 2017 from $462 last year, IDC said. Bloomberg

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