The news last week that Warren Buffett was selling his Intel shares was followed up by a report that shows tablet unit volumes will take over from notebook volumes within three years.
Since notebooks are Intel’s most profitable base in the personal computing space (assuming tablets to be in that space also) this is one good reason why Buffett might be seeing a gloomy future for the company.
Tablets will overtake notebooks in 2015 as the largest selling personal computer product, says IC Insights.
Between 2010 and 2015, tablets will grow at 82% CAGR, Notebooks at 11%, Netbooks will fall 32% and desktops will grow 0.5%.
This year, tablets are about half the size in units of the notebook market – about 110m tablets will be sold as against about 200m notebooks.
By 2014 this will be roughly equal at about 250m units each and then in 2015, tablets will sell 341m units and notebooks will sell 279m units.
Netbooks are the big loser in this scenario declining from 8m units this year to 4m units in 2015.
Desktops will stay pretty flat selling 155m units this year and 159m in 2015.
A total of 478m computer units (including notebooks, tablets, netbooks and desktops) will be sold this year, says IC Insights, up 15% over 416 million units in 2011.
This total will rise to 783m units in 2015, which represents an average annual increase of 16% between 2010 and 2015.
New design concepts such as hybrid touch-screen/keyboard systems as well as growing use of tablet computers by businesses will significantly boost shipments of tablet and notebook PCs in 2012 and through the forecast period.