Non-phone cellular devices sold to tip 112 million in 2015: Gartner

Analysts forecast worldwide sales of cellular-enabled PCs, tablets, and mobile hotspot devices will exceed 112 million this year.

Gartner anticipates that this year's worldwide sales of cellular-enabled devices will be up by 5.6 percent from last year, with more than 112 million mobile PCs, tablets, and mobile hotspots expected to be sold.

Company research director Tracy Tsai said that there was potential for accelerated growth in this market due to the price for mobile-connectivity approaching 10 percent of the cost of the device. "When this happens, the adoption of cellular devices will accelerate beyond 160 million in 2019," she said.

According to Gartner, this current forecast of 160 million has the potential to exceed more than 600 million units in 2019.

Tablets are the largest segment of cellular-embedded devices, according to Gartner, with sales of 50 million units in 2014. Sales of tablets are forecast to grow to 76 million units in 2019, with in excess of 84 percent of these from the general public.

Cellular-embedded mobile PCs, such as notebooks and premium ultramobiles, will grow from 1.8 million in 2014 to 4.9 million in 2019, with a penetration rate growing from 1.3 percent to 2.7 percent.

Sales of mobile hotspot devices are expected to grow from 54 million to 70 million from 2014 through 2019. However, Gartner warned that the demand for USB modem-type hotspot devices is decreasing, as they are less flexible than a wireless mobile hotspot.

Telstra said in April that while the company was experiencing an increase in mobile broadband market share, the sector was not growing.

"The reason it is not growing is that many of the tasks customers were doing on mobile broadband-dedicated devices, they're doing on handheld [phones]," Telstra executive director of mobile and wireline Warwick Bray said.

In November last year, Gartner predicted the growth in the use of connected things to reach 25 billion devices, or three for every person on the planet, by the end of 2020.

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