Many people believed that the tablet shipments would catch up to and possibly surpass laptops, however, no one really thought it would be as soon as last month. According to NPD DisplaySearch, tablet shipment surpassed the laptop, 18.7 to 16.9, in October. It is believed that the spike in numbers could be the result of a few reasons:
- Inventory buildup in laptops: The notebook PC supply chain has some slow-moving inventory...and panel shipments declined by almost 4 million units from September to October.
- Shift to Windows 8: Notebook PC panel buyers bought fewer displays as they prepared for new Windows 8 designs.
- Tablet shipment surge: Tablet shipments soared to build inventory for the holidays.
Regardless of suggestions that this occurrence was "a special case," the signs of a tablet overtaking have been in the making for a while. As DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh puts it, the tablet has been "the hottest" category for displays this year. In addition, DisplaySearch forecasts that tablet shipments "will eclipse laptops for the first time in North America in the fourth quarter."