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Gartner: PC to decline, tablets to grow 69.8 percent

Staff writer |
Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones will reach 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from the last year, according to Gartner.

Device shipments are forecast to continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period. The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets.

"While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device. As 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," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

The traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013, says Gartner). This is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior. Beginning in 2013, ultramobiles will help offset this decline, so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5 percent decline in 2013. Worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 percent increase from last year's 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. 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," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

In the shares of operating systems, the shift to mobile and the fight for the third ecosystem becomes more evident. 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.

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