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Ultramobiles will start to catch on, but tablets and Android will steal the show

Gartner Inc. (IT) a leading market research firm has published its latest predictions regarding device sales.

It notes that the total market for devices is expanding, with strong pickup in developing regions, such as China, India, and Brazil.  It predicts 2.4 billion devices will be sold in 2013 -- up 9 percent from a year ago.  Of those, 1.875 billion of them are expected to be smartphones.

Gartner predicts Android will crack the 1 billion unit mark next year.  The predications indicate that Android leader Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) may best its already bullish target of 390 million Android smartphones sold in 2013.  And it predicts in five years Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad (which run iOS) will sell half a billion units -- close to PC sales.

Gartner Predictions

Ultramobile PCs -- also known as ultrathin laptops or "UltraBooks" are predicted to account for over a fourth of PC sales within the next five years.  However, that growth will not be enough to stop tablets from outselling both ultramobiles and traditional laptop/desktops PCs by 2017, according to Gartner.
Air Health
Gartner predicts Android sales to near a billion units this year. [Image Source: AnandTech]
BlackBerry 10 didn't do enough to convince Gartner of BlackBerry Ltd.'s (TSE:BB) survival prospects.  The agency predicts BlackBerry sales to continue their downward slide in years to come.  Interestingly, Gartner predicts a strong showing from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) between 2014 and 2017.  Although the press release did not elaborate on the basis of this prediction, Gartner's numbers show Microsoft growing as fast as Apple during that period, with both OS makers trailing Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android empire.

Microsoft has thus far struggled in the tablet market.  While its Surface has drawn attention, it has suffered shortages and only sold around 1.5 million units.

Windows RT
Microsoft is expected to return to strong growth in 2014. [Image Source: Microsoft]

Previous reports have indicated that this will be the first year Android tablets will outsell iPads.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, comments on the declining role of the traditional PC, "Lower prices, form factor variety, cloud update and consumers' addiction to apps will be the key drivers in the tablet market.  Growth in the tablet segment will not be limited to mature markets alone. Users in emerging markets who are looking for a companion to their mobile phone will increasingly choose a tablet as their first computing device and not a PC."

For Microsoft this news isn't great, but it's even worse for PC holdouts like Dell Inc. (DELLand Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) who remain without a cohesive mobile portfolio.

Source: Gartner

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RE: The three little pigs
By mike66 on 4/4/2013 7:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry forgot to list the 4, smartphone,tablet, Desktop PC, console, ( I don't count the laptop as a PC )

RE: The three little pigs
By karimtemple on 4/5/2013 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
There's an important reason why the report is relatively accurate; Technological advancement is going to converge these form factors. Soon, too.

In just a few years, it'll be simple and cheap to manufacture a tiny box with the power to accomplish the computing and even gaming performance goals of 95% of individuals on the planet.

The box will need a display regardless, so it'll be logistically negligible to just put the box IN the display. A tablet. When you get to your desk, you can just sit the tablet on a dock to use your keyboard and mouse and larger monitor.

This stuff will get to a point where it'll be economically illogical to buy, sell, or make a "desktop computer" for 99% of computing applications. We're looking at the same time period indicated in this article, about 5 years.

Laptops will hang on, but just barely. That market will get butchered by tablet "convertibles" that are more advanced and better-designed than what's available today. It'll really just be taking your supertablet out of the desktop dock and putting it into a laptop dock. Even today we have the philosophically perfect Surface Pro, though it does suck to use it in your lap and it still uses exhaust fans. That will change.

The phone isn't going anywhere. Game "boxes" won't either because graphics processing is so massively parallel right now (and indefinitely). Tablets, however, are going to shake up desktops and laptops pretty hardcore.

RE: The three little pigs
By SlyNine on 4/6/2013 2:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
We already have that amount of power in mart phones. We can already do all the things you're talking about.

What you dont understand is there already is no real reason for people to pick up PC's unless they need a gaming system or some sort of workstation. The reasons people choose desktops will not change in 8 years. There is NOTHING pushing most people to do it now, people CHOOSE to do so.

I, for one, DO NOT WANT to dock a tablet. It'd be cheaper to have a dedicated computer. I could buy a super cheap small box now to surf the web and do word sheets. But no, I CHOOSE to buy a desktop because I want to upgrade and expand. This is why your theory will never pan out. Because of the millions upon millions of people like me. Your whole docking tablets, and tablets in general, is really a FAD. once it reaches market saturation the sales will slow rapidly.

RE: The three little pigs
By PrinceGaz on 4/6/2013 4:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
In five years, your smartphone, the thing you carry with you all the time, is going to be as powerful as the average laptop today, and the vast majority of customers only use a small fraction of their laptop's processing power. Only serious gamers and quite niche markets like 3D rendering and video transcoding benefit significantly from the additional power a desktop system can offer over a laptop.

That means in five years most people won't need a computer. They'll just plug their smartphone into whatever dock connector is available at home or elsewhere, and it will simultaneously charge the phone as well as allowing them to use a physical keyboard (if they wish), mouse (optional), display (probably a HDTV), and anything else with the software installed on it.

In ten years, the smartphone will likely make all other computer hardware obsolete for 99% of users as it will do everything they need.

RE: The three little pigs
By TakinYourPoints on 4/8/2013 4:03:57 AM , Rating: 1
Laptops are absolutely PCs, why wouldn't they be? Same internal components, same operating systems, same input methods in most cases (plug in a mouse and go), same peripheral compatibility, and some are more powerful than most modern desktops.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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