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Tablets to gobble 35% of the PC market in 2011  (Source: Apple)
Tablets may change the companies that profit in the PC market

There have been a few disruptive forces in the computer market over the years. The netbook really upset the notebook market as users flocked to the cheap and highly portable machines. Apple’s iPad then came along and put a sizeable dent into the market for netbooks (at least according to ASUS).

As more competitors enter the tablet fray, the impact on the computer market will only increase. Goldman Sachs has announced that tablets are one of the most disruptive forces in computing in nearly 30 years. The company says that tablets will eat into the PC market so heavily that they will start a reshuffle in who profits most in the PC industry that is currently dominated by Microsoft and Intel.

Microsoft dominates on the back of its Windows operating system installed on the vast majority of all computers. Despite the fact that Microsoft is huge in the PC market, the company is slow to take on new markets and is currently not offering a version of Windows specifically for consumer-oriented tablets. This leaves a notable window for competitors to seize the market like the iOS-packing iPad and Honeycomb-powered tablets like the Xoom.

The big impact for Intel will come thanks to the fact that the vast majority of processors used inside tablets today are not Intel parts. ARM is the leader in the tablet and smartphone market today. The big reason for this is that the ARM processors user relatively little power leading to better battery life for tablets.

Sachs predicts that both Apple and Google will begin to catch up to Intel and Microsoft thanks to the popularity of tablets.

The Goldman Sachs report noted, "This [wide adoption of tablets] should result in a theoretical loss of 21 million notebooks in 2011 and 26.5 million in 2012." Sachs expects the tablet to cannibalize about 35% of the PC market in 2011 and 33% in 2012.





"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins



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