Gartner says low-cost tablets will cause PC shipments to fall even further
Gartner has predicted yet another contraction in the worldwide PC market during 2013 and there will be twice as many Android devices shipped as Windows systems.
The research firm said combined PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments will increase by nine percent during the next year, although the traditional PC market will decline by 7.6 percent.
This shift from the PC to mobile devices will be accelerated by the proliferation of lower-priced tablets and is part of a long-term change in user behaviour rather than a temporary trend caused by the current economic climate.
PC shipments fall again
Tablet shipments are predicted to rise by 69.8 percent from 116 million units to 197 million in 2013, with more Android devices sold than Windows. Form factor variety, the cloud and apps are also expected to be key drivers of demand.
“While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
“As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.”
Smartphone shipments are also expected to rise as the price of more advanced handsets comes down, encouraging adoption in emerging markets. Gartner says that of 1.875 billion smartphones expected to be sold this year, one billion will be smartphones, up from 675 million in 2012.
“The trend towards smartphones and tablets will have much wider implications than hardware displacement,” said Ms Milanesi. “Software and chipset architecture are also impacted by this shift as consumers embrace apps and personal cloud.”
Shipments of PCs have been decreasing for some time, with manufacturers and component makers keen to expand their mobile operations to compensate. It had been hoped that the release of Windows 8 would increase sales, but it appears as though the operating system has not been the saviour that the PC industry has hoped for so far.
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