Gartner: Worldwide PC, mobile device market to grow in 2014

Gartner says that mobile device sales are not only on the rise, but the traditional PC market is also recovering from a drop in 2013.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Gartner says that the traditional PC market and mobile device industry will enjoy a sales spurt and growth of 4.2 percent this year, reviving the industry in light of falling sales last year.

In a new report, Gartner says that the worldwide combined shipments of devices including PCs, tablets and smartphones will reach 2.4 billion units by the end of this year, a 4.2 percent increase from 2013. The research firm says that after declining 9.5 percent in 2013, the global PC market will enjoy a partial revival in 2014, and will contract only 2.3 percent across the year.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner said:

Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe. This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.

In addition, Gartner says that the traditional PC market — encompassing notebooks and desktops — will follow the same downward trend.

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With any device, adoption goes through phases of popularity. Gartner says that tablet adoption in particular is in the later stage of adoption in mature markets, and is likely to go through a slowdown this year, reaching 256 million units, an increase of 23.9 percent from last year.

There will be low demand for devices with small screens, with many consumers in favor of larger screens. This, in turn, is expected to prompt a shift to "phablet" devices, particularly in Asia.

"The next wave of adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality," Atwal added.

Mobile phone sales are expected to reach 1.9 billion units this year, an increase from 3.1 percent in 2013. It is predicted that smartphone sales will continue to do well, and the research firm estimates that sales will represent 88 percent of global mobile phone sales by 2018 — up from 66 percent in 2014.

In the mobile operating system market, unsurprisingly Google's Android and Apple's iOS software are driving growth with a 30 percent and 15 percent increase, respectively, this year.

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"We expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen," said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner.

"Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 percent market share by 2018 — up from 4 percent in 2014."

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