Gartner Sales Study Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down but Recovering

Are old-fashioned PCs on the comeback trail? That might depend on how you define "comeback," but one study indicates that desktop PCs and notebooks will at least make up some ground, as tablets keep showing strong sales numbers. A study released Monday by Gartner indicates growth in the PC market will continue to contract through 2014, and will lag behind tablet shipments, which are still going strong.

Even so, the market for PCs in the near term looks positive, analysts say. The PC market saw a 9.5 percent drop in 2013, but Gartner speculates that decline will slow to a 2.9 percent reduction this year.

In 2015, the number of PC shipments, including traditional desktops and notebooks, as well as premium ultramobile systems, is projected to climb to almost 317 million units. That forecast is up about 2.9 percent over this year and close to the number of units shipped in 2013.

Shipments of traditional desktops and laptops are expected to drop from 296.1 million last year to 276.2 million this year, then down again to 261.6 million next year.

Some Uptick

On the plus side, ultramobiles -- the thin, portable laptops exemplified by AppleEUs MacBook Air -- are expected to gain more market share, according to the Gartner study, with shipments forecast to rise from 21.5 million in 2013 to 32.2 million in 2014, and 55 million in 2015.

Part of the uptick may be coming from the global business market, according to Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal.

"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe," Atwal said in a statement. "This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."

Tablets and Phones Still Surging

Tablet shipments, meanwhile, are projected to continue their upward trend, rising by 24...

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