Gartner predicts that tablets will outsell PCs in 2015

poised to outsell pcs in 2015

Creative Commons photo by TribeHut. Click to see the original.

Tablets aren’t outselling traditional desktop and laptop PCs, but Gartner’s most recent forecast for global device shipments says that day is coming soon. Their prediction for this year is that PCs will still outsell tablets, with 308 million desktops and laptops shipping this year vs. 256 million iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, Kindle Fires. However, in 2015, they expect tablets to edge out PCs, with 321 million shipments versus 317 million PCs.

TechCrunch have published Gartner’s data in tabular form, and we’ve taken their tables and turned them into easier-to-read graphs. This first graph looks at worldwide device shipments for 2013 through 2015 (with 2014’s and 2015’s numbers being projections), and without smartphones (you’ll see why we excluded them in a moment):

wordwide device shipments no smartphones

Remember, these are shipments, which refers to the number of devices sent to retailers, as opposed to sales, which is the number of devices actually sold to customers. As TechCrunch say, “A shipment is a guess on how many will be sold based on previous performance, which means that sometimes if sales are disappointing/surprisingly good there will be a correction, with lower/higher shipments in subsequent periods.”

Smartphone shipments dwarf the shipments of other device categories, which is we excluded them in the graph above, so that you could better see the lines for the other devices. This second graph of worldwide device shipments includes smartphones:

wordwide device shipments with smartphones

In their report, Gartner makes the following observations and predictions:

  • The tablet market is showing maturation, and in more developed markets, tablets are now in the “late adopter” phase of the technology lifecycle. Being in this later phase is expected to affect their rate of sales, and what sorts of tablet models and features will be in demand.
  • The tablet market is shifting, and according to Gartner analyst Ranjit Atwal, lower price points will drive the next wave of adoption, not superior functionality.
  • The tablet market will have a relative slowdown this year, even though the total number of shipments is expected to increase almost 24% over 2013.
  • Smartphones will account for 66% of all mobile sales in 2014, and by 2018, they’ll account for 88%.
  • Android shipments are expected to rise 30% this year, and iOS shipments are expected to rise 15%.
  • Windows Phone is expected to get 4% market share this year, with this figure climbing to 10% in 2018.

this article also appears in the GSG blog