Worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are on pace to total 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Device shipments are forecast to continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period. The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets. As a result, the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013. Ouch!
“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. “As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.”