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Mobility drives rising demand for smartphones, tablets

Posted: 27 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? tablets? PC? notebooks? Android?

Despite a massive decline in PC shipments, increasing demand for mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles will lift the combined shipments of electronic devices to an estimated 2.35 billion units in 2013, according to research firm Gartner.

Traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are projected to reach 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 per cent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 per cent in 2013 (see Table 1). Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 per cent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 per cent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units. The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers' wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.

Gartner worldwide devices shipments by segment

Table 1: Worldwide devices shipments by segment (thousands of units). Source: Gartner (June 2013).

Demand for ultramobiles, which includes Chromebooks, thin and light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8, will come from upgrades of both notebooks and premium tablets, such as the Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab10.1.

Analysts said ultramobile devices are gaining popularity and drawing demand away from other devices. This will be even more evident in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the combination of new design based on Intel processors Bay Trail and Haswell running on Windows 8.1 will hit the market. Although these devices will only marginally help overall sales volumes initially, they are expected to help vendors increase average selling prices (ASPs) and margins.

The tablet and smartphone markets are facing some challenges as these devices gain longer life cycles. There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 per cent of overall iOS tablet sales in the first quarter of 2013.

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