Sales of traditional computers will lose more ground in 2014 to tablets and other mobile devices, a market tracker says.
A report by the research firm Gartner said the overall market for connected devices – PCs, smartphones and tablets – is likely to grow 6.9 per cent to nearly 2.5 billion devices in 2014.
More people will dump their PCs for other devices, but the drop in PC sales will moderate to around 6.6 per cent this year, with unit sales of 276 million.
Some surveys showed a drop of around 10 per cent in PC sales last year.
“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,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
“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.”
The global tablet market is expected to grow 38.6 per cent , with much of the increase coming outside North America, Gartner said.
Total tablet sales will nearly equal that of PCs at 270 million, the firm said.
“The adoption of tablets has been largely concentrated in the US, with the dominance of Apple,” Atwal said.
“Market dynamics in other regions are different, as the uptake of lower cost, smaller, non-branded tablets, becomes more apparent.”
Mobile phones, the largest segment, is seen as growing 4.9 per cent to 1.9 billion units – led by “the lower end of the premium phone market and the higher end of the basic phone market,” Gartner said.
The Google Android platform is expected to extend its lead in overall devices, with more than 1.1 billion units in 2014, mostly in mobile phones.
Microsoft Windows will remain the number two platform with 339 million devices and Apple’s iOS and Mac OS will remain third with 286 million devices, Gartner says.