The global PC market will show a ‘relative revival’ this year, predicts Gartner, with sales expected to dip just 2.9 per cent, compared to 9.5 per cent in 2013.
While that figure includes ‘premium ultramobile devices’, the the traditional PC market (formed of desk-based and notebook units) is on pace to contract 6.7 per cent in 2014 and 5.3 per cent in 2015.
Gartner also estimates that sales of tablets will see a relative slowdown in 2014 to reach 256 million units, an increase of 23.9 per cent from 2013.
Worldwide combined shipments of devices (including PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2014 – a 4.2 per cent increase from 2013.
"2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe. This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."
Atwal also predicts that "the next wave of adoption [for tablets] will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality".
Sales of mobile phones are expected to reach 1.9 billion units in 2014, a 3.1 per cent increase from 2013. Gartner estimates that smartphone sales will represent 88 per cent of global mobile phone sales by 2018 – up from 66 per cent in 2014.
In the operating system (OS) market, Android and iOS are driving the growth with a 30 per cent and 15 per cent increase, respectively, in 2014.
"We expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen," said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. "Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 per cent market share by 2018 — up from 4 per cent in 2014."
Worldwide Device Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)
Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System (Thousands of Units)