Shipments of Internet-enabled consumer devices will exceed PC shipments in 2013 and tablet devices will lead the way, predicts a new iSuppli Consumer Platforms Report from information and research firm IHS.

The entire category of Internet-enabled consumer devices will see sales of 503.6 million units in 2013, up from 161 million in 2010, IHS says. In comparison, PC shipments will increase to only 253.3 million over the same period—up from 222.3 million in 2010.

According to IHS, Internet-enabled consumer electronics devices include a wide range of products—from televisions to video game consoles and Blu-ray players. But although game consoles were the top selling Internet-enabled consumer devices with shipments of 50.5 million units last year, IHS projects that they will be displaced this year by tablet devices, which are projected to have shipments of 61.9 million.

“From virtually nonexistent levels just two years ago, media tablets will ship more than 300 million units by 2015, 15 times greater than in 2010, for a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73.3%,” wrote IHS in an announcement of the new report findings. IHS added that “the media tablet appears to be the device that will pull customers into the era of the digitally connected home” because “it allows users to enjoy media—and not just content stored locally on the device for viewing on the included display.”

The researcher firm noted that “consumers can push music from an iPad to an audio system or drive video to a large-screen display.” The firm also noted that it expects the media table to be “one of the first devices to fully integrate into the connected home” as a result of vendor support for Apple’s AirPlay standard.

While the forecast from IHS about tablet devices may sound bullish, the firm’s findings are largely in keeping with other tablet developments that Telecompetitor has noted in recent months. Nielsen noted recently that one in three tablet owners see a decline in computer usage. And cable operators certainly seem to be aware of the potentially disruptive impact that tablets could have on their market. Further evidence of how ingrained tablets have become in users’ lives is other Nielsen research which showed that 57% of tablet owners like to use them while lying in bed.

Other Internet-enabled devices that will grow rapidly in the years to come are Blu-ray players and set-top boxes, IHS predicts.

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