Tablet shipments to rocket by 53 percent in 2014; PCs to decline

Tablet shipments to rocket by 53 percent in 2014; PCs to decline

Summary: Is there any end to the flogging of the nearly-dead PC horse? Latest figures suggest not so much, as lower-priced devices across all categories are driving growth.

TOPICS: Mobility
(Image: CNET)

Latest Gartner figures show PCs, tablets, and mobile phones are expected to reach 2.32 billion units by the end of 2013, a 4.5 percent increase from a year earlier.

According to the research firm, lower-priced devices across all device categories are driving growth.

Breaking down the numbers a bit further, it is clear to see that tablets and smartphones are kicking the PC market while it's down. The latest projections show that while the traditional PC market, including desktops and notebooks, are expected to total 303 million units by the end of this year, accounting for a drop of more than 11 percent. In 2014, the PC market expected to drop even further to 281 million as tablets and smartphones pick up the slack. 

Tablets and smartphones are faring well, according to the figures. Tablet shipments alone are expected to grow by 53.4 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. However, it will take until past 2014 to overtake PC shipments altogether, which is expected to reach about 263 million.

Onto mobile phones, which are picking up the pace and have no let-up in sight. Already at the 1.7 million mark, in 2013 the mobile phone market is expected to rocket by more than 100 million, and just shy of that in 2014.

But mobile shipments are slowing, Gartner says. Once the crown jewels of the December holiday season — where sales are typically higher — the opportunity for high average selling price smartphones is ending. The focus is now, the firm says, on mid-tier and low-end Android-based smartphones in emerging markets.

According to Gartner's Carolina Milanesi, the firm is expecting to see a continued trend from last year during the holidays, notably an uptick in smaller tablets, as smartphone shipments wane.

(Image: Gartner)

One final nugget from the Gartner research bank: Android will retain the mobile platform crown for the next two years, taking more than 1.1 billion shipments by 2014.

While Windows remains flat in shipments — pegging in around the 350 million unit mark on average from 2012 through 2014 — the end-of-support for Windows XP in April 2014 is not expected to impact device sales. 

Gartner says 90 percent of large enterprises have already, or are making efforts to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8. It comes just a few weeks after Toshiba said the vast majority of its business upgraders from Windows XP are heading to Windows 7, and not Microsoft's latest operating system.

Meanwhile, Apple's mobile and desktop range will rocket in 2014, after remaining almost flat over the past two years, from 2012 to 2013. 

(Image: Gartner)

Topic: Mobility

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  • Well, what is a toy and what is a PC or a computing device?

    The PC sales will remain flat if we add PC and ultra mobile device from 2012 to 2014.

    Lots of low priced android tablets and iOS devices must be considered as toys because they are purchased and used by kids under the age of 13. PC and ultra mobile devices are used for business and real computing.

    The number game doesn't really matter much
    • You really are an idiot.

    • Check and Double Check.


      None are toys.

      2012 PC + Ultramobile: 350.9 m
      2013 PC + Ultramobile: 321.7 m
      2014 PC + Ultramobile: 321.4 m (Projected)

      Hardly flat from 2012-2014, though if Gartner projects 2014 correctly, that would be flat relative to 2013.

      • You left-out Surface RT

        6 million gathering dust in an MS warehouse. Not even useful as a toy.
        • There is not six million in a warehouse

          that number was one number claimed by an analyst, and one that they could not logically backup, since Microsoft and their manufacturing partner claimed that they cut their orders in half to 4 million.

          How could there be six million devices in a warehouse if they did not make six million devices?
          John Zern
      • Re: if Gartner projects 2014 correctly

        Too F'N funny!! You just can't make this stuff up!!

        Arm A. Geddon
  • I Believe PC Sales Will Decline While Tablet Sales Rises

    With convertible tablets becoming the new thing I can see desktop and laptop sales declining in the coming future. It's hard to telll if tablets are just a fad or if they are here to stay and take a huge chunk of the market share. I feel its the latter, because even though tabs suppose to be an extension to your PC, people have began adopting tablets as their sole computing device. It's like a mobile phone and laptop all-in-one and now with the convertible tablets transforming into mini netbooks its gaining even more momentum and general acceptance.