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Tablets to surpass PCs soon: report

Don't be surprised if you start to see more people with tablets than laptops: A report Monday said tablet shipments will exceed PCs by 2015.

Research company Gartner said worldwide tablet shipments -- meaning units sold from manufacturers to retailers -- will climb from 256 million in 2014 to nearly 321 million next year. Shipments of desktops and laptops will fall from 276 million this year to less than 262 million in 2015, Gartner said.

The shift would be the first time tablet shipments top PCs, a monumental change in the tech landscape. The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs predicted the shift in 2010, calling it the "post-PC" era, comparing desktops and laptops to trucks.

"We were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that's what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centres and America started to move into those urban and suburban centres, cars got more popular," he said. "PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around. They're still going to have a lot of value, but they're going to be used by one out of X people."

Emerging markets and interest in lower-price devices are driving tablet growth, said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. Atwal said consumers should expect to see more tablets available for less than $100.

Atwal also expects more consumers to shop for larger-screen tablets than before. The demand for small tablets will decrease as consumers buy more and more smartphones with screens larger than four and five inches.

"Now that your phone is getting bigger, you're kind of replacing the activities of a seven-inch tablet," Atwal said. "So now you might have a six-inch screen phone and a 10-inch screen tablet. It's an interesting mix and match of screen sizes."


Entrepreneur award finalists

Three Manitoba finalists were announced Monday in the Prairie region of the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

-- Mike Fata of Manitoba Harvest, manufacturing category -- Manitoba Harvest is the world's largest hemp food manufacturer to grow, make and sell hemp foods.

-- Laurie Goldberg of People Corp., professional and financial services category -- People Corp. is an employee benefit, pension and human resource consulting firm; and

-- Shaun Loney of BUILD, social entrepreneur special citatiom -- BUILD is a social enterprise, non-profit contractor and training program for people who face barriers to employment.

Fata was also a finalist in 2013 when there were four Manitoba finalists. Jean-Pierre Parenty of Parenty Reitmeier Translation Services won in the professional and financial services category last year.

In 2012, there were nine Manitoba finalists in the Prairie region. Henry Friesen of Convey-All Industries Inc. in Winkler won the regional award in the manufacturing category that year.


Gibson's Insurance purchased

Hub International Limited has acquired the shares of Gibson's Insurance Agency Ltd.

Gibson's has two locations in Treherne and Notre Dame de Lourdes, each of which will remain in operation.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

With the addition of these two offices, Hub will operate 22 locations throughout Manitoba.

In April, Hub bought the shares of Essex Insurance, which has outlets in three Superstore locations in Winnipeg.

Hub Horizon is part of Chicago-based Hub International Limited, the 10th-largest U.S. insurance brokerage.


Manitoulin Transport buys Jomac

Manitoulin Transport has acquired Jomac Transport of Winnipeg, which provides daily overnight freight-shipping service between Winnipeg and Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas.

Manitoulin Transport, based out of Gore Bay, Ont. on Manitoulin Island, is a leading Canadian transportation and logistics solutions provider with 60 Canadian terminals and 250 U.S. service centres.

Last fall, the company acquired Smooth Freight of Brandon. This latest acquisition provides Manitoulin with comprehensive ground coverage throughout Manitoba.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, all of Jomac's assets and employees will be absorbed by Manitoulin Transport.


-- staff / news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 8, 2014 B8

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