Gartner has contradicted IDC's analysis of the PC market by insisting that the death of Windows XP will have little, if any, impact on sales of PCs, tablets and mobile phones.
Last week, IDC said commercial PC sales in EMEA were set to enjoy a boost as consumers and businesses looked to upgrade from Microsoft's Windows XP – support for which will come to an end next April. It said more businesses than consumers have been driven to a hardware refresh in light of the imminent death of the OS.
But today Gartner disputed the claims and said in its analysis of the PC and tablet market that most firms had already upgraded to either Windows 7 or Windows 8, meaning any further impact on sales is likely to be small.
"The end of Windows XP support in 2014 is not expected to impact device sales, as... 90 per cent of large enterprises have either migrated or are migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8," Gartner said.
The analyst also poured water on the much-hyped upcoming trend of wearable tech, claiming that the technology will only be supplementary to mobile devices to start with, and will not initially revolutionise the tech sector. Analysts have been quick to talk up the new technology, with Canalys claiming the sales of smartwatches alone will grow 900 per cent next year.
But Gartner said less than one per cent of consumers will actually replace their phones with a combination of wearable devices by 2017.
"For wearables to be successful, they need to add to the user experience by complementing and enhancing what other devices already offer," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
"In the short term, we expect consumers to look at wearables as 'nice to have' rather than a 'must have', leaving smartphones to play the role of our faithful companion throughout the day."
Gartner added that global combined shipments of devices – PCs, tablets and mobile phones – will reach 2.32 billion units by the end of the year, up 4.5 per cent on last year. PC shipments will drop annually by 11.2 per cent to 303 million, while mobile phone shipments are forecast to jump 3.7 per cent to 1.8 billion units.
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