Tablet Shipments Increase as Traditional PC Sales Decline

The combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion worldwide this year. The new Gartner numbers mark a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. Sales of tablets, smartphones and ultramobiles are on the rise, while traditional desktop and notebook PCs are expected to decline by 10.6 percent. Anytime-anywhere computing is driving consumer behavior. Additionally, the growing acceptance of bring your own device will lead to an emphasis on designing for consumers inside the enterprise.

“Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units,” explains Gartner. “The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.”

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

“Demand for ultramobiles (which includes Chromebooks, thin and light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8) will come from upgrades of both notebooks and premium tablets, such as the Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab 10.1. Analysts said ultramobile devices are gaining in attractiveness and drawing demand away from other devices,” explains the release. “This will be even more evident in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the combination of new design based on Intel processors Bay Trail and Haswell running on Windows 8.1 will hit the market.”

The report notes that longer life cycles and a shift from premium tablets to basic tablets will impact tablet and smartphone markets. Sales of the iPad Mini represented 60 percent of iOS tablet sales in Q1 2013.

“Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems in the device market, the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments,” said Milanesi. “Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market.”