Tablet sales growth to slow in mature markets this year, says Gartner

Tablets are moving into the late adopter stage in mature markets, so sales growth is forecast to slow this year, says market research firm Gartner.

Shipments of tablets will still increase 23.9 percent year-over-year, reaching 256 million units in 2014. This compares with year-over-year growth of more than 50 percent in 2013.

"The next wave of [tablet] adoption will be driven by lower price points rather than superior functionality," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

Sales of smartphones will continue to be strong, representing two-thirds of mobile phone sales this year and expected to rise to 88 percent by 2018, predicts Gartner. Android continues to lead the operating system market, but iOS is expected to get a bump from the introduction of the iPhone 6 this fall.

Despite gloomy forecasts about the end of the PC, market research firm Gartner predicts that shipments of PCs will revive somewhat this year after sinking 9.5 percent last year.

"Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend [of PCs], especially in Western Europe," Atwal said. "This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets."

For Gartner, the PC category includes desktops, notebooks and premium ultramobiles. Without sales of ultramobiles, traditional sales of PCs would contract 6.7 percent in 2014 and 5.3 percent in 2015.

For more:
- check out the Gartner release

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