New statistics by research firm In-stat show that mobile computing has won. Mobile computers, led by notebooks, will chip away at the desktop PC market, which will be shipping 291 million units annually by 2014. The mobile computer segment — notebooks, netbooks and tablets combined — will be shipping over 400 million units in that same period. Notebooks will represent 52 percent of the computing market, even though the young tablet market will see a 123 percent growth between now and 2014.
The tablet segment was kick-started by the successful launch of the iPad (s aapl), and will continue to grow as companies bring models based on the Android (s goog) platform to market. While notebooks will remain the computers purchased by most, the tablet will begin to rival the netbook/smartbook according to these numbers. The rapid rise of the tablet will be a hot topic at our Mobilize conference later this month.
These numbers don’t address the rise of the smartphone as mobile computers, and recent figures from IDC have a whopping 270 million phones shipping this year. It’s not unreasonable to believe that today’s high-powered smartphones can impact the sales of mobile computers, particularly the netbook/smartbook segment. The mobile computer, no matter its form, has won the war with the lowly desktop.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Are You Empowering Your Mobile Work Force?