More tablets than traditional PCs will be shifted in 2015, according to Gartner, which pointed to shipments of the two shooting off in opposite directions.
In 2013, 195.4m ultramobile tablet devices and 296.1m PCs were shipped globally, Gartner said. This year, the gap between the two will significantly narrow, with tablet shipments set to rocket to 270.7m units as PC shipments drop off to 276.7m units.
But next year, tablet shipments will reach the 349.1m unit mark while that of PCs will slump to just 263 million units – less than the forecast tablet shipment figure for this year.
Overall, the device market – which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and other ultramobile devices – is on course to grow 6.9 per cent this year, but the figure is stunted significantly by falling PC shipments.
The PC market's decline is being driven by users choosing to replace traditional desktops and notebooks with tablets or nothing at all, according to Gartner's research director Ranjit Atwal.
"The traditional PC category continues to decrease, with only about two thirds of notebook and desktop replacements remaining within this category," he said.
"The majority of the remaining one third will move to ultramobiles, while others will not be replaced at all."
Gartner said although the device market is set to grow, commoditisation will kick in, putting pressure on prices.
"As the overall device market starts to saturate, the increasing pressure on margins will continue, and vendors will look at different ways to cope with the ongoing issue of lower margins," it said.
"While the trend of declining prices is inevitable, consumers increasingly value other features in a device - beyond just the price. For example, new tablet users look for smaller screens and greater portability, while current tablet users look for better connectivity in their tablet replacements."
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