PC Sales Shrink, Tablets and Phones Dominate in Four-Year Tech Forecast
As if we needed any more data pointing to the rise of mobile devices and the decline of traditional PCs, market research firm Gartner is out today with some new forecasts for sales of all three through the year 2017.
As you might expect, there’s good news for any company in the business of building tablets and mobile phones, and lousy news for those building PCs. Worldwide sales of “devices,” a category that combines PCs, tablets, mobile phones and ultramobiles (tiny notebooks, presumably), will approach a combined three billion units by 2017, representing growth of 34 percent from 2012.
Growth will be led by tablets, which are expected to grow by 70 percent, to 467 million units. Phones will break the two-billion-unit mark in 2017, Gartner says. Traditional PCs, on the other hand, will decline by fewer than 300 million units by that year. Obviously, this is bad news for the PC players, including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, who are both struggling to get their PC divisions back on track, while at the same time trying to kick-start mobile device plays. (Click the chart below to make it bigger.)
Another nugget in the Gartner report: Google’s Android devices will dominate, accounting for nearly a billion and a half unit sales by 2017. Its nearest competition will be Microsoft’s Windows, and Apple’s combined portfolio of Mac and iOS devices, which will split about a billion devices between them.