According to new data from research firm Gartner, global shipping of PCs, tablets and mobile devices are likely to reach 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent surge from last year. The research firm predicts similar growth till 2017 with shipping expected to go past 2.9 billion units. Gartner, however, points out a “significant” shift in trends in the near future with consumers preferring tablets over PCs.
Gartner predicts the market for conventional desktops and laptops to dip 7.6 percent to 315 million units in 2013, and continue slipping over the next four years. Tablets are predicted to see total shipment of 197 million units this year, a 69.8 percent growth from 2012 shipments of 116 million units.
"While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," says Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis."
By 2017, Gartner predicts total tablet shipments to hit 468 million units surpassing PC sales of 272 million by a huge margin. The research firm says the growth will be driven by the recent flooding of low-cost tablets with better specifications.
"Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers' addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market," Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
According to Mr. Atwal, the change in trend will not only be seen in developed markets but in emerging markets as well.
Here's a chart shared by Gartner:
The Gartner report comes shortly after another research firm IDC predicted similar growth for tablets in coming years. As per the latest predictions by research firm IDC, the shipment for tablets is going to take over - for the first time - desktop PCs in 2013 and notebooks in 2014.
IDC says the global shipments of smart connected devices had increased about 30 percent in 2012, surpassing last year’s 1 billion units shipped and some $576.9 billion generated. Read our coverage on the IDC predictions. Also, check out below a chart shared by IDC that sheds light on growth of regards to market share of the smart connected devices: