2014 The Year of the PC..Revival?
Analysts at Gartner think so.
“2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
The good news for the troubled PC market comes as tablet demand is also heading south on a relative basis, as new trends including ‘phablets’ emerge.
But still, tablet are set to outsell PC’s – in 2015 there will be 4 million more tablets shipped than PC’s, which includes desktops, notebooks and ‘ultramobiles’.
After declining almost 10 percent in 2013, the PC market (desktop, notebook and ultramobile) is set to contract by a far smaller margin – under 3% this year to 308,5 million and is set to rise to 316m in 2015.
And its all thanks to mass migrations from Windows XP and businesses replacing ageing PC’s.
“Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe,” said Atwal.
“This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.”
However, demand for traditional PCs – desk-tops and notebooks – is on course to contract to 276 million down 7% percent and to fall again in 2015.
But its looking good for ‘Ultramobile’ PCs like Ultrabooks and 2-in-1 hybrids – demand rose this year and will rise in 2015 to 55m.
In total, 2.4 billion shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and phones are projected for 2014, up 4% from last year.
But the tablet market too is slowing, as the ferocious appetite for iPad, and Co wears off, blamed on the shift towards ‘phablets’ (smartphone + tablet hybrid) and demand for cheaper devices.
Sales of tablets will reach 256 million in 2014, up 24% from last year although hardly the treble digit growth of prior years.
“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 1.9 billion in 2014, up 3%. A potentially larger screen iPhone 6 will also make an impact on demand for phablets, analysts predict.
Android and iOS are driving the smartphone with 45% of the market between them but Windows phones will exhibit strong growth and are projected to capture 10% market share by 2018 – up from 4%.
“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, Gartner analyst.