Research firm Gartner Inc. has released a new digital device sales forecast which marks 2015 as the year when shipments of tablets will finally overtake PCs and the world will move into the post-PC era. In volume terms at least, the defining digital device in the home will no longer be the computer, whether in desktop or laptop form, but the tablet.
Gartner forecasts sales of the devices it tracks – PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones – to hit 2.4 billion units in 2014, “a 4.2 percent increase from 2013.” And as of 2014, it calculates a total global sale of PCs of all types of just under 308.5 million, versus a tablet market running at just over 256 million shipments of all kinds of tablets. However, by 2015 Gartner expects a very different picture, with just over 316.6 million units of PCs shipping, but tablet shipments rising to almost 321 million.
Much of this growth will benefit Android, already showing a 30 percent increase in shipments in 2014 and expected to rise to over 1.37 billion units by 2015. Interestingly, Gartner expects fairly strong growth for Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner, said:”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 4 percent in 2014.” In any case, with the advent of Windows convertibles and tablets, Microsoft will also be moving into the tablet space, leaving the ecosystem it helped create further and further behind.