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Gartner: 7.6% Growth for Devices in 2014

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According to Gartner global device (as in PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) shipments will reach 2.5 billion with 7.6% growth in 2014, with Android as dominant OS across all device categories.

"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs," Gartner says. "Mobile phones are a must have and will continue to grow but at a slower pace, with opportunities moving away from the top-end premium devices to mid-end basic products."

Gartner devices

Mobile phones should dominate, with 2014 shipments reaching 1.9bn with 5% growth. Ultramobiles (covering tablets, hybrids and clamshells) will take over as main growth driver, as 2014 growth is forecast to reach 54%.

"Complimentary smaller tablets will take over from the larger tablet form factors, providing the added mobility that consumers desire at a lower cost and will compete with hybrids for consumer attention," the analyst adds.

Overall tablet growth should total 47% thanks to lower ASPs. According to a Q3 2013 Gartner consumer study held in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US and Japan over 66% of tablets are used outside the home-- a usage pattern similar to smartphones, since small form factors drive portability.

Meanwhile the PC market will remain essentially flat (0.2% growth, still an improvement over the -9.9% decline of 2013) thanks to an uptake in Windows ultramobiles, even as traditional PCs continue to decline (-7% to 278m units). According to the analyst desk-based PCs find use as a shared content creation tool, with tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks addressing other, increasingly diverse, demands.

Gartner OS forecast

When it comes to OS share Android dominates with shipments forecast to reach 1.1bn users, a 26% increase over 2013. "There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users," Gartner concludes. "Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9bn in use in 2014, compared with 682m iOS/Mac OS installed-base devices."

Go Gartner Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones WW 2010-2017 Q4 2013 Update