It's a battle royale between tablet sales and laptop sales. The latest research report from International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals that tablet shipments are on target to beat those of both the laptop and desktop PC by 2015. Apple has been leading the tablet revolution, however, the current market explosion has been progressively powered by low-cost Android devices. A classic example of the tablet evolution is Apple's iPad Mini competing with a slate of 7-inch Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Tablet Sales vs. Laptop Sales: According to the study released today by the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7 percent year-over-year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year.

"What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor," said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC's Mobility Trackers. "Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them. IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC."

In the tablet versus laptop study, researchers highlighted three factors leading to the tablet market coming out on top.

Falling prices

Affordable Android tablets are growing in number. The average tablet selling price dropped 11 percent to $381. The average PC costs $635. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (Wi-Fi) 8GB is marked on the Samsung website for $179.99, whereas a MacBook Air starts at $999. Android tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Apple's iPad, have been adapting to a higher demand for lower-cost devices.

Demand for a new screen size

There has been a growing desire for a screen size of 8-inches or less, which is apparent in the new designs of tablets such as a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Apple's iPad Mini. IDC believes that this 8-inch tablet will see tremendous growth, and that models of this size or below grew from a market share of 27 percent in 2011 to 55 percent in 2013. The new Apple iPad mini has a 7.9-inch display, shrinking in size of the original Apple iPad with a height of 9.5-inches. The Samsung Galaxy Tablet also molds to the new demand for a specific screen size with a 7-inch display screen.

Realization that tablets can be for content creation

Tablet devices such as Apple's iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tablet have changed perceptions of users, according to IDC. Users now see that tablets can also be utilized for content creation, especially in education.

"Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child."

This study by the IDC is clearly obvious in the upcoming release of devices designed towards these trends, such as many Samsung Galaxy and Apple phablet. What device do you prefer? Let us know in the comment section!

IDC Study