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July 7, 2014

Windows XP upgraders boost PC market

Almost 60 million business PC replacements set for this year, says Gartner.

By Ben Sullivan

Global sales of devices such as PCs and smartphones are predicted to reach 2.4 billion units this year, a 4.2% increase from 2013.

"2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. After declining 9.5 per cent in 2013, the global PC market (desk-based, notebook and premium ultramobile) is on pace to contract only 2.9 per cent in 2014.

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

However, the global tablet market is set to slow down its expansion because of a lower demand from users for tablets with smaller screens in mature markets. The shift towards phablets in emerging markets is also slowing global tablet penetration.

The report suggested that, as adoption goes through phases from the early to the late adopter, tablets are currently moving on the latter part of that curve in mature markets.

Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner, told CBR: "The biggest change we’ve seen is on the tablet side. Smartphones are continuing on the same trend, but on tablets we’ve taken down the growth in Europe and North America.

"The main reason here is that we’re starting to see an install base that is now starting to settle. Most households which can afford a tablet have one now.

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"In emerging markets we see continued growth. We didn’t change the predictions in those markets that much. We took down the growth in South East Asia a little bit because that’s the one region where we see some impact from phablets. The client base in SE Asia is more open to the phablet form factor, if you buy such a phone then it has impact on whether you still want to buy a 7 inch tablet."

Mobile phone sales are predicted to reach 1.9 billion units in 2014, seeing a 3.1% increase from last year. Gartner estimates that smartphone sales will represent 88 per cent of global mobile phone sales by 2018 – up from 66 per cent in 2014.

Android and iOS are still driving the growth in the mobile operating system market, with a 30% and 15% increase respectively.

Zimmermann said: "We expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen.

"Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 per cent market share by 2018 — up from 4 per cent in 2014."

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