Sales of traditional PCs are expected to hit just 305 million units this year, down 10.6 percent from last year. Things might be a bit better in 2014, but Gartner is still forecasting a 5 percent decline.
Even if non-traditional form factors, such as Chromebooks, hybrids and skinny clamshells are added to the PC figures, we’re still looking at a 7.3 percent decline this year.
Meanwhile tablets are still going strong. Tablet shipments are expected to reach 202 million units this year, up from 120 million in 2012. In 2014 tablet shipments should hit 276 million units. Mobiles are growing as well, but not at the same insane pace. Smartphone shipments are expected to grow by about 4.3 percent, with a volume of more than 1.8 billion units in 2012.
As far as non-traditional ultramobiles go, Gartner believes shipments will double this year, hitting 20 million units. Next year they should double again, to 40 million units, but even that won’t be enough to offset the slump across the rest of the PC market.
Demand for tablets and ultramobiles could be propped up by BYOD. Gartner believes that 72 percent of personal computing devices will used in the workplace by 2017 thanks to the new trend, which is already causing plenty of headaches in IT departments across the globe.
However, tablets might be about to run out of steam, as they are maturing fast and demand for high-end gear is evaporating.
“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. We will also see consumer preferences split between basic tablets and ultramobile devices,” said Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal.
Interestingly, the combined share of Apple OS devices might overtake Microsoft’s OS share by 2015. Around 296 million Apple devices will ship this year compared to 339 million Windows devices. However, Android will outpace Apple and Microsoft combined, with shipments hitting 866 million units this year and passing the one billion mark next year.