From 2013, PCs will no longer be the item most commonly bought to access the Internet, but instead electronic gadgets, especially connected TVs, will take their place.
The range of products that are already able to connect to the Internet (among other things to access over-the-top video content) include set-top boxes, connected TVs, video game consoles, Blu-ray players, digital media adapters and media tablets. Collectively, sales of these devices will surge from 161 million units in 2010 to 504 million units in 2013. During the same period, PC shipments will modestly grow from over 300 million units to less than 450 million.
The gap will continue to widen and, come 2015, this new breed of Internet-enabled gadgets will be outselling PCs by a factor of over 1:6.
These findings appear in a report published by market research firm IHS iSuppli. Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS, predicted that consumers will be more likely to access the Internet through their TVs than via their PCs in the future.
“The Internet is now revolutionising the consumer electronics business by delivering a range of products that can bring web-based content to homes,” the analyst said. “Increasingly, each Internet-enabled consumer electronics device is vying to become the centre of what is known as the digital living room, aggregating content throughout the home and serving up movies, television programmes, videos and music.”
Spurred by the runaway success of Apple’s iPad, media tablets are singled out in the report as the category of Internet-enabled devices poised for the strongest growth rates over the next four years.