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Gartner: combined Devices to Reach 2.5bn in 2014

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According to Gartner as traditional PCs continue to fall and substitution from PC to tablet declines global 2014 combined device (PC, tablet, ultramobiles, mobile phones) shipments are to reach 2.5 billion units with 6.9% growth.

"Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onward as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," the analyst says. "As they do this, we will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets), or hybrid devices (detachable or convertible devices), fit in the overall portfolio of devices."

Gartner devices forecast

Meanwhile the device market saturates, meaning pressures on margins continue to increase and vendors look at different ways to cope. Either way prices will fall, even if customers also value useful device features such as better portability or connectivity.

Mobile phones remain the largest segment, with 2014 shipments reaching 1.9bn units with 4.9% growth. Gartner projects 2014 growth as coming from the lower-end premium and the higher-end basic segments. A lack of "compelling" hardware innovation only marginally extended 2013 upgrade cycles, but customers in emerging markets including MEA and E. Europe should offset weak(er) mature markets as they upgrade their devices.

Gartner OS Forecast

Tablets show the highest 2014 projected growth at 38.6% via the uptake of lower cost, smaller, non-branded tablets in emerging markets.

Meanwhile the PC market continues to decline-- by 6.6% to 276.7m units according to Gartner. Notebooks and desktop replacements make around 60% of the traditional PC category, while the rest will move to ultramobiles. The others will not be replaced at all.

As for the OS market, iOS numbers betray Apple's need to reinvigorate its replacement cycle, while Android continues to dominate as it appears to sell over 1bn devices during 2014.

Go Gartner PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones WW Forecast 2011-2018