updated 04:53 pm EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
Migration from XP gives market a kick, 2015 tablet shipments to beat PCs by 4 million
Earlier this week, technology research company Gartner released its projections for 2014 and 2015 computer sales, indicating that PC shipments would see a small loss from the previous year before seeing an uptick in 2015. The increase in shipments comes after a trend of declining sales, as consumers shift buying habits and hold onto PCs longer. As a result, the number of tablets shipped in 2015 are expected to surpass PCs for the first time.
Garner suggests that PC shipments will see a contraction of 2.9 percent in 2014, before rising about 2.6 percent in 2015. Previous years saw a decline in shipments by 9.5 percent, according to numbers based on desktops, notebooks, and premium ultra-mobiles. Growth in 2015 will be attributed to an increased number of shipments of premium ultra-mobile machines.
Figures for the relative slowdown are attributed to the migration of users from Windows XP to newer versions of Windows, resulting in a large number of machines needing replacement. Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal says that the replacement of machines in Western Europe will help stave off the decline, adding that around 60 million PCs are going to be replaced in professional markets.
Even with the decline lessened overall, Gartner says that the traditional PC market, desktops and notebooks, will continue to decline. The research company expects desktops and notebooks shipments are going to decrease by 6.7 percent in 2014, and 5.3 percent in 2015. Shipments for 2013 were 296 million.
As a part of the changing consumer tastes, Gartner believes that tablet shipments will surpass traditional PCs in 2015. Numbers from Gartner place 2013 tablet sales at 206 million, still 35 percent shy of the number of PCs for the year. Estimates for 2014 see an increased portion of tablets, rising by approximately 50 million by the end of the year. The difference between tablets and PCs shipped then drops to about 17 percent.
When 2015 rolls around, Gartner expects tablet shipments to increase by more than 60 million. Even with the increase of PCs, tablets will out ship them by more than four million units. From 2013, tablets are expected to see an increase of 23.9 percent in 2014 and about 25.2 percent in 2015.
"The next wave of adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality," says Atwal.