Tablets, smartphones to drive global sales of devices

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 04, 2013


Worldwide sales of devices is expected to grow 9 per cent to reach 2.4 billion units in 2013 from 2012, driven by an increased adoption of smartphones and tablet PCs, according to Gartner Inc. Device shipments are further expected to reach nearly 2.9 billion units in 2017, said the research firm.

The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets, according to Gartner. Although some businesses and end user consumers will retain both devices - PC and tablet, majority will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device, stated Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner analyst. She believes that ass 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.

As a result of this shift, the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 per cent in 2013. According to Gartner, this is not a temporary trend induced by a more austere economic environment; it is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior. Beginning in 2013, ultramobiles will make up for this decline, so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5 per cent decline in 2013.

Worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 percent increase from 2012 shipments of 116 million units. “Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers’ addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner. He believes that growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC.

In the shares of operating systems (OSs) in device sales, the shift to mobile and the fight for the third ecosystem becomes more evident, stated Gartner. Android continues to be the dominant OS in the device market, buoyed by strong growth in the smartphone market. Competition for the second spot will be between Apple’s iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.

Tablets are not the only device type that is seeing aggressive price erosion. Smartphones are also becoming more affordable, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepay segment in mature markets. The research firm predicted that out of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012.