France will soon reach a major digital milestone…2013 will be the year that tablet sales, projected to easily reach 5.1million this year, will officially surpass those of laptop PCs. With the number of tablets sold in France more than doubling in a year (up from 1.5 million in 2011 to 3.6 million in 2012), this milestone is coming a lot quicker than initially expected. The end of 2012 proved to be a real inflexion point for the tablet, which with 1.2 million sales in December alone solidified the tablet’s prominence in France’s tech device market, as reported in Les Echos.
One of the principal drivers of this massive uptick in tablet sales appears to be tablet prices, which have dropped substantially since the tablet launched a few years ago. With the steady stream of new, more affordable tablets from the likes of Samsung, Amazon and Google coming on the market, the average price of a tablet in France has dropped 20% over the past year and is expected to drop yet another 20% this year, reaching an average price of just €264. In a market where tech and other electronic products can often be higher than in other markets, this may be reason enough alone for French consumers to flock en masse to tablets.
According to GfK who recently studied the evolution of the tablet and PC markets, the PC still likely has a bright future ahead of it, particularly with more hybrid and slim ultra books coming on the market. With the entry this year of hybrid tablets/PCs such as the Microsoft Surface, the PC market is now moving into a transitionary phase. However, with an average price of €1k for quality hybrid devices, manufactures may find that they will have a tough time convincing consumers that these devices are the better buy. GfK feels though that consumers will ultimately be seduced by their design, portability, and quality and ultrabooks and hybrids will eventually dethrone the tablet.