Gigabyte VP Henry Kao predicts laptops will gradually decline in popularity due to the rapid growth of "smart" handheld devices, which includes smartphones and tablets like the iPad. Kao believes handhelds will end up eating into laptop growth, and that desktops will start growing stronger than notebooks again within just three to five years.
According to Kao, who serves as VP of Gigabyte's motherboard business, "smart" handheld devices will gradually replace notebooks, and we will see a resurgence of desktop PCs before too long.
That prediction seems to fly in the face of recent market data, which tends to show notebook sales growing quicker than desktop sales. Nevertheless, Kao backed his statement with some numbers: smart phone vendors ship about 60 million units yearly, he said, while notebooks are a 200-million-unit market. Kao expects smart phones shipments to rise to 100 million next year. Add slate devices like the iPad (which seems to be selling quite well) to those figures, and the balance could shift.