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Egham, UK, October 15, 2014 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Sales of Tablets Will Represent Less Than 10 Percent of All Devices in 2014

Smartphones to Represent 71 Percent of the Global Mobile Phone Market in 2014

Android Device Shipments to Reach One Billion in Emerging Markets in 2015

Tablet sales growth is slowing in 2014 as new hardware buyers turn to alternative devices and existing users extend the lifetime of their tablets. Gartner, Inc. estimates that tablet sales worldwide will reach 229 million units in 2014, an 11 percent increase from 2013, representing 9.5 percent of total worldwide sales of devices in 2014. In 2013, tablet sales grew 55 percent. 

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) for 2014 are estimated to reach 2.4 billion units in 2014, a 3.2 percent increase from 2013 (see Table 1). "The device market continues to evolve, with the relationship between traditional PCs, different form factor ultramobiles (clamshells, hybrids and tablets) and mobile phones becoming increasingly complex," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. 

In the tablets segment, the downward trend stems from the slowdown in basic ultramobiles — new sales of iPads and Android tablets — and the lifetime extension of current tablets to three years by 2018. Gartner projects over 90 million fewer new tablet purchasers and 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018. 

"Some tablet users are not replacing a tablet with a tablet, they are favoring hybrid or two-in-one devices, increasing its share of the ultramobile premium market to 22 percent in 2014, and 32 percent by 2018," said Mr. Atwal. 

Table 1

Worldwide Device Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)

Device Type

2013

2014

2015

Traditional PCs (Desk-Based and Notebook)

296,131

276,457

261,005

Ultramobile Premium

21,517

37,608

64,373

PC Market Total

317,648

314,065

325,378

Tablets

207,082

229,085

272,904

Mobile Phones

1,806,964

1,859,946

1,928,169

Other Hybrids/Clamshells

2,706

6,462

8,609

Total

2,334,400

2,409,558

2,535,060

Source: Gartner (October 2014) 

The mobile phone segment will continue to grow in 2014 due to strong sales of lower-end smartphones. Sales of basic smartphones (including midrange Android devices) are projected to grow 52 percent in 2014, while utility smartphone units (including low-end Chinese white box devices) will double. 

"The market is clearly favoring those vendors offering value in lower-priced smartphones. This trend has become more apparent, especially in the second quarter of 2014 when most of the top Chinese smartphone vendors grew volume and market share," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. “As smartphones reach lower prices, Gartner expects nine out of 10 phones to be smartphones by 2018.” 

The expansion of affordable mobile phones that are attracting replacements in many emerging countries has contributed to the increase in the global market share of smartphones, which is set to reach 71 percent in 2014, up 17 percentage points from 2013. Android and iOS have further entrenched their market positions in the global phone market, making it difficult for alternative ecosystems to become more than niche players. 

In the operating system (OS) market, the emerging markets represent an attractive sector for Android (see Table 3), which is set to grow 47 percent in 2014. In 2015, Gartner estimates that shipments of Android devices will reach over one billion in emerging markets, driven by sales of lower-cost products. Apple's new devices, which target the premium market, will continue to help drive iOS volumes. These devices will benefit from a controlled and integrated ecosystem, a focus on the user experience and a leading enterprise tablet position. 

Table 2

Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System in Mature Markets (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2013

2014

2015

Android

266,701

313,529

337,791

IOS/Mac OS

157,273

167,787

182,564

Windows

138,312

141,977

149,128

Others

100,633

48,130

29,352

Total

662,920

671,424

698,835

Shipments include mobile phones, ultramobiles (including tablets) and PCs

Source: Gartner (October 2014) 

Table 3

Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System in Emerging Markets (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2013

2014

2015

Android

632,517

928,135

1,117,860

Windows

187,474

194,091

221,804

IOS/Mac OS

78,928

95,304

112,647

Others

772,562

520,605

383,914

Total

1,671,480

1,738,135

1,836,225

Shipments include mobile phones, ultramobiles (including tablets) and PCs

Source: Gartner (October 2014)

Gartner's detailed market forecast data is available in " Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 3Q14 Update" and on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2848418.

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