from market analysts IDC looking at market conditions in the United Kingdom says that in the first quarter of 2013, tablet shipments outpaced the combined desktop and notebook PC for the first time. A total of 2.8 million tablets were shipped in Q1, outpacing the 2.3 million PC units (which include Macs alongside Windows desktops and laptops) by a half-million units -- a rise of 188 percent year-over-year. While the report is limited to the UK, the results likely foreshadow future trends elsewhere.
The PC shipment numbers represent a 15 percent overall decline in PCs from the same period last year. Within that overall decline, portable computers were down 20 percent while desktops were down six percent. Consumers have transferred many of the duties they used to perform on computers to tablets like the iPad, meaning that they are no longer replacing the larger computer units as often as they did previously.
Analyzing the PC declines further, HP remained the top computer vendor despite sales being down 25.2 percent from a year ago, holding on to about a 20 percent share. Dell was down 10.8 percent, but still managed to hold on to 15 percent of the PC segment. The only PC vendor to grow sales in Q1 was Lenovo, which increased shipments by 20 percent to gain fourth place at 12 percent share.
The overall results were also broken down by segments, with consumer buying down 19 percent and business buying 11 percent. Both Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook had predicted what they called the "post-PC" era
, where consumers and businesses alike would discover that most everyday computing duties could be handled by lighter, more mobile devices like the MacBook Air and the iPad. The report didn't disclose breakdowns of tablet shipments, but Apple remained the top vendor in the UK for tablets, followed unsurprisingly by Samsung and Amazon in that order.