Shipments of tablets and smartphones will continue to eat away at the PC industry, Gartner said in a report published Monday. The research firm expects that, in total, there will be 2.35 billion units of PCs, tablets and mobile phones shipped during the year, which is up 5.9 percent from last year.
Despite that increase, however, Gartner expects that shipments of PCs, which includes laptops and desktop computers, will decrease 10.6 percent from last year to 305 million units. Tablet shipments, meanwhile, are projected to jump 67.9 percent in 2013 to a total of 202 million units shipped. In addition, the mobile phone market is expected to increase 4.3 percent. That doesn’t mean the tablet industry is off scott free, however.
“The increased availability of lower priced basic tablets, plus the value add shifting to software rather than hardware will result in the lifetimes of premium tablets extending as they remain active in the household for longer,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal explained. “We will also see consumer preferences split between basic tablets and ultramobile devices. With mobile phones, volume expectations for 2013 have been brought down as the life cycles lengthen as consumers wait for new models and lower prices to hit the market in the Fall and holiday season. The challenge in the smartphone market is also that, as penetration moves more and more to the mass market, price points are lowering and in most cases so do margins.”
Gartner also found that Android is the largest operating system among combined shipments of tablets, PCs and smartphones, though that number is a bit confusing since Android is primarily a mobile operating system. It was followed by Windows and iOS and is projected to be the leader through 2014.