Combined global shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones will continue to grow, driven by a shift to lower-priced devices in nearly all categories, Gartner Inc said in a report.
The market research firm forecast global shipment growth of 7.48 percent to 2.49 billion units next year, based on its estimate of 2.32 billion units shipped this year.
Overall shipments this year should increase 4.5 percent from last year, even as the market for notebook and desktop PCs slides 8.4 percent to 321.7 million units, the report said.
The only bright spot in the notebook and desktop category this year should be the growth in shipments of Ultrabooks, which Gartner said would increase 90 percent from a year earlier to 18.6 million units.
“Although the preference is for dedicated devices, we see the opportunity for hybrid ultrabooks to marry the functionality of a PC and the form factor of the tablet,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said.
“Users that have to balance work and play will find that the advantage of buying and carrying one device outweighs the compromise in the full experience that single devices can deliver,” Atwal added.
Global tablet sales for this year are forecast to rise by an annual 53.4 percent to 184 million units, the research firm said.
The increase from 120 million units last year is being driven by lower prices, form factor variety, cloud updates and consumers’ addiction to apps, the report said.
Premium tablets with 7-inch displays will face price declines because of increasing competition in the field, Gartner predicted.
Mobile phone shipments are forecast to grow 3.67 percent worldwide this year, it said.
The mobile phone market will continue to experience steady growth, but the days of high average selling prices are coming to an end, it said.