Global device shipments driven by low-cost products, PCs buoyed by hybrids – Gartner

22 Oct 2013

Hybrid devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 are lessening the declie of the PC market

Gartner’s latest predictions for 2013’s mobile device market forecasts a 4.5pc increase in shipments largely driven by lower-cost options.

Gartner projects that worldwide combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile will reach 2.32bn units this year, but its not necessarily the top-level devices that are powering these sales.

“Continuing on the trend we saw last year, we expect this holiday season to be all about smaller tablets as even the long-term holiday favorite – the smartphone – loses its appeal,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president at Gartner.

Gartner predicts steady growth for the mobile market, but that this will largely come from mid-tier smartphones in mature markets and low-cost smartphones in emerging markets as the appetite for high-priced flagship devices wanes.

In all, mobile phone shipments are expected to increase by 3.7pc to more than 1.8bn units for 2013.

Tablet shipments are also expected to grow this year, this time by an impressive 53.4pc to 184m units.

The forecast isn’t so bright for PCs, with desktops and notebooks predicted to see a decline of 11.2pc to 303m units. This figure is slightly bouyed when sales of hyrbrid computers are taken into account. Adding in sales of these devices, which offer PC functionality in a tablet form factor, the overall PC market decline reaches 8.4pc.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.