According to a recent report by Gartner, Inc., worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012. The market is being driven by sales in tablets, smartphones, and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.
As per the report, worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are expected to reach 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013. 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. 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.
Commenting on the insights, Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner said,“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.”
The report found that 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 Tab10.1. Analysts said ultramobile devices are gaining in attractiveness and drawing demand away from other devices. 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. Although these devices will only marginally help overall sales volumes initially, they are expected to help vendors increase average selling prices (ASPs) and margins.
According to the Gartner report, the tablet and smartphone markets are facing some challenges as these devices gain longer life cycles. There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 percent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.
Carolina Milanesi further added,”Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to oper ating systems (OS) in the device market, the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments.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.”