Will Tablets And Cloud Become More Accessible In 2013?


More people may get connected this year as the world’s leading Information Technology (IT) research company Gartner Inc. has predicted that in 2013, 2.4 billion PCs, Tablets and mobile phones shall be shipped. This is a 9 per cent jump as compared to the actual hardware shipped last year.

But even as the online community rejoices over the development, readers are cautioned. Remember that Gartner is only talking of the number of units shipped. Shipped does not necessarily mean sold. Every company ships a certain quantity of the stuff it manufactures to retailers but that does not automatically mean that all that hardware will be sold. We will have to wait till end-2013 to get the sales figures.

According to Gartner, device shipments were forecast to touch over 2.9 billion units in 2017, “but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period,” it said in the report.

What lies deep in this Gartner report is the ever-increasing love affair of consumers with Android based Tablets. The proliferation of lower-priced Tablets and their growing capability may accelerate the shift of users from PCs to Tablets, it said. The latter may soon become the first option in computing for many consumers.

“While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a Tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a Tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President at Gartner. Which is what we at ToolsJournal have also been reporting for some time now – the PC is dying a slow death as sales plummet.

The traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units was expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013, and Gartner said this was not a temporary trend but a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior. Beginning from 2013, ultramobiles will help offset this decline, so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5 percent decline in 2013. Ultramobile PCs are 7 inch mobile computing devices, the size of paperbacks.

Tablet shipments were forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8 percent increase from 2012 shipments of 116 million units. The step-up is being attributed to lower prices, cloud update and consumers addiction to apps.

In the shares of operating systems (OSs) in device sales, Android continues to be the dominant OS in the device market, buoyed by strong growth in the smartphone market. Competition for the second spot will be between Apple’s iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft Windows, the report added.

Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones that are likely to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012.

Table 1

Worldwide Devices Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)

Device Type

2012

2013

2014

2017

PC (Desk-Based and Notebook)

341,263

315,229

302,315

271,612

Ultramobile

9,822

23,592

38,687

96,350

Tablet

116,113

197,202

265,731

467,951

Mobile Phone

1,746,176

1,875,774

1,949,722

2,128,871

Total

2,213,373

2,411,796

2,556,455

2,964,783

 

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