PC shipments to sink 6 percent this year as tablets surge

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Shipments of PCs, tablet, and mobile phones combined will climb by 7 percent in 2014, predicts Gartner, though PCs will be on the losing end of the deal.


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PC sales will continue to nosedive this year as more consumers scoop up mobile devices, says a new report from Gartner.

Global shipments of personal computers will total 276.7 million in 2014, Gartner forecast on Thursday, a 6.6 percent drop from last year. On the flip side, tablet shipments will jump by 38.6 percent thanks in part to greater demand in regions outside North America.

But the number of people replacing their aging PCs with tablets is actually expected to decline.

“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,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said in a statement. “As they do this, we will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets), or hybrid devices (detachable or convertible devices), fit in the overall portfolio of devices.”




Overall, around two-thirds of desktops and notebooks with be replaced with the same type of equipment. The remaining one-third will be replaced with hybrids and ultramobile PCs, while the rest won’t be replaced at all, Atwal predicted.

Mobile phone shipments are forecast to reach 1.9 billion this year, up 4.9 percent from last year. Gartner expects much of the growth to be split between lower-end premium phones and higher-end feature phones.

Combined shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles, and mobile phones will hit 2.5 billion in 2014, a 6.9 percent gain from 2013, Gartner added. And Android will be the top beneficiary.

Worldwide shipments of Android devices will top 1 billion this year, leaving Windows in second place with 339 million shipments and Apple’s Mac/iOS in third with 286 million.