The worldwide sales of smartphones, tablets and PCs will hit 2.4 billion in 2013, up nine percent on 2012, driven by the rampant growth of the Android operating system.
New figures form Gartner show that phone sales will rise from 1.7 billion to 1.9 billion in 2013, while tablet sales will leap by 70 percent from 116 million to 197 million. However, the PC market will slump by eight percent to 315 million sales, down from 341 million in 2012.
By 2017 Gartner expects sales of phones to hit 2.12 billion, while tablets will be at 467 million. PCs will have fallen to as low as 271 million. The primary drive of the rise of phones, and to a lesser extent tablets, will be due to Android.
Android is set to rise from shipments of 497 million in 2012 to 860 million in 2013, and as high as 1.5bn in 2017. Meanwhile, the Windows operating system, covering both tablets and phones, will only reach 354 million in 2013, and 570 million by 2017.
Meanwhile, Apple will rise from 212 million in 2012 to 293 million in 2013 and to 504 million by 2017. These figures make for desparate reading for Microsoft, according to Gartner research analyst Carolina Milanesi.
“Microsoft needs to be successful in the mobile and tablet space. If they fail to do so, the grip they’ve had for so many years will slip as people don’t necessarily see as Windows machines as the first choice,” she told V3.
“The figure’s we’ve project for Microsoft in the overall market are quite low, especially compared to Android and that’s where the concern for Microsoft will be, especially in the emerging markets.”
Milanesi questioned Microsoft’s confidence that emerging markets would show any interest in PC devices, especially given the aggressive pricing of Android devices.
“Microsoft and Intel still think that the same rules will apply in emerging markets as mature one but many people in emerging markets experience a smartphone as their first device and get used to the look and feel of that, and their applications, rather than using Office or Outlook first,” she said.
Another vendor facing a tough future is BlackBerry, for which Gartner predicts dwindling market share over the coming years from 34 million shipment sin 2012 to 31 million in 2013 and as low as 24 million in 2017.
“We’ve not really changed our position on BlackBerry since the launch of BlackBerry 10. It’s not because the operating system isn’t good enough but from an ecosystem perspective they lack the reach of rivals,” she said.
The doom and gloom around BlackBerry follows on from similar figures on Tuesday from Kantar that said sales of its platform slipped by 0.7 percent in 2012.
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