2.4bn connected devices will ship in 2014, says Gartner

7 Jul 2014

In addition to PCs showing signs of revival, the total number of connected devices, including mobile phones and tablets that will ship in 2014, is forecast to hit 2.4bn, according to Gartner.

“(The year) 2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

After declining 9.5pc in 2013, the global PC market (desk-based, notebook and premium ultramobile) is on pace to contract only 2.9pc in 2014. 

“Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe,” Atwal said.

“This year, we anticipate nearly 60m professional PC replacements in mature markets.”

The traditional PC market (desk-based and notebook) will follow the same downward trend and is on pace to contract 6.7pc in 2014 and 5.3pc in 2015. 

A bitter pill for tablets

Gartner estimates that sales of tablets will see a relative slowdown in 2014 to reach 256m units, an increase of 23.9pc from 2013. Lower demand from users for tablets with smaller screens, some in favour of larger screens, in mature markets, and the shift towards phablets in south-east Asia are slowing global tablet penetration.

“The next wave of adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality,” said Atwal.

Sales of mobile phones are expected to reach 1.9bn units in 2014, a 3.1pc increase from 2013.

Sales of smartphones, which exceeded those of the rest of the market in 2013, will continue to do well, and Gartner estimates that smartphone sales will represent 88pc of global mobile phone sales by 2018 – up from 66pc in 2014.

In the operating system (OS) market, Android and iOS are driving the growth, with a 30pc and 15pc 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 10pc market share by 2018 – up from 4pc in 2014.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years