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Gartner: Tablet market heads towards saturation

Gartner has predicted a slowdown in the uptake of tablets, which has been cannibalising PC sales for the last few years

Gartner has predicted a slowdown in the uptake of tablets, which has been cannibalising PC sales for the last few years.

The analyst reported that device shipments grew 4.8% in 2013. Sales of traditional PCs will continue to hamper the overall growth of devices, and substitution from PC to tablet will decline, Gartner said.

In its latest worldwide forecasts for PC shipments, Gartner estimated that 276.7 million units will be shipped in 2014, a 6.6% decline from 2013. 

"The traditional PC category continues to decrease, with only about two-thirds of notebook and desktop replacements remaining within this category," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "The majority of the remaining one-third will move to ultramobiles, while others will not be replaced at all."

As the overall device market starts to saturate, pressure on margins will continue to increase, and suppliers will look at different ways to cope with the ongoing issue of lower margins, said Gartner.

"Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onwards as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," Atwal added.

Gartner expects the price of devices to continue to tumble, but consumers also value smaller screens and greater portability, as well as better connectivity when replacing existing tablets.

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