In the latest fillip for the PC market, Gartner predicts that shipments of desktops, notebooks and premium ultramobiles will return to growth in 2015 following a year of relative recovery in 2014.
After crashing 9.5 per cent in 2013, sales of the recently condemned form factor appear to be poised for a relative renaissance.
Gartner reckons global sales of PCs will fall by 2.9 per cent to 308 million units in 2014 before inching up three per cent to 317 million in 2015.
"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in western Europe," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
"This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."
Gartner's projections are just the latest indication that the shift in the balance of power that has been playing out between PCs and tablets since Apple launched its iPad in 2010 is beginning to slow.
Analyst Context claimed last month that PC sales through western European distributors are now outgrowing tablets and Intel recently upped its sales projections on the back of rebounding demand for business PCs.
Meanwhile, the UK's largest reseller/SI, Computacenter, posted a 27 per cent surge in Q1 UK product sales as the death of XP drove migration projects.
Gartner's figures may be a little deceptive because they include not only traditional desktops and notebooks but also premium ultramobiles, which are essentially a cross between a PC and a tablet.
In fact, ultramobiles will be responsible for all the growth, with shipments of the hybrid form factor set to pogo 50 per cent to 32.3m this year before powering up 71 per cent to 55 million in 2015, according to Gartner.
Stripping out this sub-category, the traditional desk-based and notebook PC market is on course to contract 6.7 and 5.3 per cent in 2014 and 2015, Gartner said.
Meanwhile, growth in shipments of the current pin-up of the device market, tablets, will slow to 23.9 per cent this year to reach 256 million units, Gartner said.
The shift towards "phablets" in some markets, such as South-East Asia, is slowing tablet penetration, with Atwal advising that the next wave of adoption will be driven by "lower price points rather than superior functionality".
Having said that, tablets remain on course to outship PCs by 2015 on the back of 25 per cent growth next year. According to Gartner, unit sales of each will reach 321 million and 317 million respectively in 2015.
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