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Tablet Sales To Soar 68% As PCs Slump

By Computer Daily News | Tuesday | 25/06/2013

Traditional personal computer shipments will drop 10.6% this year, but tablet shipments will soar almost 68%, according to a new report on the worldwide devices market by market research firm Gartner.

Overall shipments of digital devices - including PCs tablets, smartphones and something Gartner calls "ultramobiles"*- will rise 5.9% to 2.35 billion units.

Gartner predicts worldwide traditional desktop and notebook PC shipments will drop 10.6% to 305 million units in 2013 and face a further drop to 289 million in 2014.

Tablet shipments, meanwhile, will rise from 120.2 million in 2012 to 201 million this year and 276 million in 2014.

The mysterious "ultramobiles" will remain a relatively minor segment, it seems, going from nine million in 2012 to 20 million this year and 39 million in 2014.

But tablet and smartphone makers may not find the future quite as easy as some have tipped.

They are facing challenges as these devices gain longer life cycles, Gartner says, noting there has also been a shift from premium tablets to more basic models. "The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad mini already represented 60 percent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013," its report says.

"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," says research director Ranjit Atwal.

* Gartner says "ultramobiles" include Google Chromebooks, thin-and-light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8. The term has not been used, as far as CDN is aware, by other market research groups - though Wikipedia uses it to describe pen computers.

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