Smartphone Gartner Drum News

PC market experiences "revival" but smartphones sales continue to surge finds Gartner


By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

July 7, 2014 | 3 min read

Smartphones are predicted to account for 88 per cent of global mobile phone sales by 2018— up from 66 percent in 2014 – but there will be a "revival" in the PC market, new research from Gartner has found.

Overall, sales of mobile phones are expected to reach 1.9 billion units in 2014, a 3.1 per cent increase from 2013.

In the operating system (OS) market, Android and iOS have driven 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 four per cent in 2014."

Within the PC market (desk-based, notebook and premium ultramobile), there was a 9.5 per cent in 2013, however, Gartner has projected that it is now on pace to contract by only 2.9 percent in 2014.

This figure led Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, to suggest that there is a “ relative revival” of the PC.

"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe," said Atwal. "This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."

Anthony Blackford, head of retail at Gumtree - a brand which has this year seen 64 per cent of its vsits come from mobile or tablet - said he wouldn't discount PCs altogether.

"As we continue to innovate in the mobile space, it stands to reason that old technology will be left behind. However, I won’t be so quick to discount PCs," he said.

"In 1999, then IBM CEO, Lou Gerstner famously proclaimed that the PC was dead but it appears to have nine lives. Take a look around your office, I guarantee that that almost everyone is sat at their desk on a PC or laptop, crunching out numbers, planning projects or updating their Facebook page about how horrible the weather has turned.

"I believe in a multi-device world where, we will likely use our PCs in the office, switch to tablets for meetings on the go and use apps on our traditional mobile devices."

Gartner also suggested that sales of tablets will begin to slowdown in 2014 and reach 256 million units, an increase of 23.9 percent from 2013.

"The next wave of adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality," said Atwal adding that there will be a demand from users for tablets with smaller screens, some in favour of larger screens, in mature markets.

It was also found that the shift towards ‘phablets’ in South-East Asia has slowed global tablet penetration.

Across the board, Gartner has predicted that worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) will reach 2.4 billion units, a 4.2 per cent increase from 2013.

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