Citing numbers from their Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles, and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 2Q14 Update report, executives from IT research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. said on Monday (July 7, 2014) that they expected "worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) [to] reach 2.4 billion units in 2014, [registering] a 4.2 percent increase from 2013."
According to them, the global PC market (a category that covers desk-based, notebook and premium ultramobile PCs), which suffered a 9.5 percent contraction in 2013, should only see a 2.9 percent decline in 2014. Commenting on this, Gartner Research Director Ranjit Awal said that "2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market" and that this would be due in part to a great number of enterprise customers upgrading their systems from Windows XP and running through their "general business [PC] replacement cycle[s]...especially in Western Europe."
"This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature market," he added.
Current Gartner projections have the 'traditional PC market' (comprising desk-based and notebook PCs) declining more slowly in the next couple years-by 6.7 percent in 2014 and 5.3 percent in 2015.
According to Gartner's latest estimates: the sales of tablets are expected to increase by 23.9 percent from 2013 to 256 million units in 2014; and that of mobile phones by 3.1 percent to 1.9 billion units in 2014.
As for the operating system (OS) market, Gartner analysts believe that the Android and iOS mobile platforms "are driving [its] growth with a 30 percent and 15 percent increase, respectively, in 2014." Gartner Research Director Annette Zimmerman said they "expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen."
Zimmerman forecasted growth in the Windows Phone platform too. "Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 percent market share by 2018-up from four percent in 2014," she said.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.