Mobile technology

Tablet sales to slow in 2014, says Gartner

Clare McDonald

Sales of tablets are set to slow in 2014, as uptake moves into the late adopters phase in mature markets, according to analyst company Gartner.

The research firm estimates that tablet sales will reach a 23.9% increase year on year from 2013, as adoption of lower-priced devices increases.

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The PC market, although still in decline, is levelling out as businesses look to replace enterprise equipment in the wake of Microsoft ending support for Windows XP. 

Sales of ultra-mobiles have also grown as the PC renewal cycle allows businesses the opportunity to upgrade their technology. 

"XP is part of the story, but organisations are replacing PCs with the newer PCs coming into the market (ultra-mobiles). These are thin and light, with long battery life," said Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal.

"By the time we get to 2015, we should see stability in both professional and consumer markets. The merging markets are adopting PCs at a slower rate and are pulling the market down," he said.

Overall, worldwide shipments of all devices, including PCs, tablets, ultra-mobiles and mobile phones, is predicted to reach 2.4 billion units in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 4.2%.

Smartphones will follow a similar pattern to tablets as the feature phone dies out, with Gartner predicting that smartphones will account for 88% of global mobile phone sales by 2018.

Worldwide device shipments by segment (thousands of units)

Device type

2013

2014

2015

Traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook)

296,131

276,221

261,657

Ultra-mobiles, premium

21,517

32,251

55,032

PC market total

317,648

308,472

316,689

Tablets

206,807

256,308

320,964

Mobile phones

1,806,964

1,862,766

1,946,456

Other ultra-mobiles (hybrid and clamshell)

2,981

5,381

7,645

Total

2,334,400

2,432,927

2,591,753

Source: Gartner (June 2014)

 


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