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Tablet market forecast to grow 47% in 2014

The worldwide tablet market is set to grow 47 per cent in 2014, according to research from Gartner, as lower average selling prices continue to attract new users.

The findings come from a recent consumer study that Gartner conducted in the third quarter of 2013 across Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., the US and Japan. It also found that over two-thirds of tablets were used outside the home for activities such as vacation or concert.

Meanwhile, shipments of traditional PCs are expected to continue to decline by seven per cent year on year, totalling 278 million units in 2014.

Mobile phones are expected to dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9 billion mobile phones expected to be shipped in 2014, a five per cent increase from 2013.

Ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54 per cent.

"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs. Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands.”

The study also looked at Android use, finding it is on course to exceed one billion users across all devices this year, a 26 per cent increase from 2013.

iOS/Mac systems will also see an increase in shipments, up from 266 million in 2013 to 344 million in 2014.

"There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users. Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9 billion in use in 2014, compared with 682 million iOS/Mac OS installed-base devices," added Annette Zimmerman, principal analyst at Gartner.

Overall, worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6 per cent increase from 2013.

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