Lower-priced tablets to gain momentum in US market, says Gartner

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The sale of high-end tablets is forecast by Gartner to decrease as tablet penetration passes 50 percent of U.S. households with the next wave of adopters more attracted to lower-priced utility tablets.

Gartner expects the devices market, which includes tablets, PCs, ultramobiles and mobile phones, to grow in 2014, reaching $685 billion, a 1.2 percent increase from 2013 but not as much as predicted in the previous quarter's forecast.

Overall, the research firm predicts that worldwide IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion this year, up 2.1 percent from last year. The forecast has been adjusted downward from 3.2 percent growth due to slowing growth for devices, data center systems and IT services.

Spending on data center systems spending is forecast by Gartner to total $140 billion in 2014, up slightly from last year. A particularly hard hit segment of the data center will be external controller-based storage.

The market research firm expects IT services to total $967 billion in 2014, up 3.8 percent from 2013. At the same time, IT outsourcing is growing slower than expected as lower pricing by the largest vendors is cutting into revenues for the cloud storage services market.

In the enterprise software market, Gartner expects spending to total $321 billion this year, a 6.9 percent increase from last year. Increased growth in spending on infrastructure software will be balanced by lower growth in spending on applications software.

"Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner.

"However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to 'normal' spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and processes in the past to a focus in the future on new business models enabled by digitalization," Gordon concludes.

For more:
- see Gartner's release

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