New Data Forecasts Tablet Shipments to Rise 68% in 2013

Apple mobile/touch devicesTotal device shipments in 2013 are projected to total 2.35 billion units in 2013, up nearly 6% over total 2012 shipments. Sales of tablets will drive the increase, according to the latest report from Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT), with sales rising 67.9% year-over-year to 202 million units. Mobile phone sales are forecast to rise 4.3% to 1.8 billion units.

The loser, as has recently been the case, will be PCs. Shipments of desktop and notebook PCs is expected to decline 10.6% year-over-year to 305 million units. Sales of the thin, lightweight portables known as 'ultrabooks' are expected to rise by 107%, but total unit sales number just 20.3 million.

Gartner notes that ultrabooks "are gaining in attractiveness and drawing demand away from other devices." Ultrabook sales will double again in 2014 according to Gartner's forecast.

By operating system platform, Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform grabs the lion's share of shipments, with about 867 million units. Microsoft Corp.'s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows operating system is touted for about 340 million units, and the two operating systems from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), MacOS and iOS, are expected to ship 296.4 million units. BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) shipments are projected to fall more than 25% year-over-year in 2013, to just over 25 million units. In 2014, BlackBerry unit shipments are forecast to fall another 12%.

In tablet shipments, sales of basic tablets are rising much faster than premium tablets. Gartner reports that sales of the iPad mini already account for 60% of iOS sales in the first quarter of this year.

As for mobile phones, Gartner's research director said:

[V]olume expectations for 2013 have been brought down as the life cycles lengthen as consumers wait for new models and lower prices to hit the market in the Fall and holiday season. The challenge in the smartphone market is also that, as penetration moves more and more to the mass market, price points are lowering and in most cases so do margins.

One final note: Gartner expects the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend to grow from 65% in 2013 to 72% in 2014 as businesses continue to accept the devices on their networks.

Filed under: Hardware Tagged: AAPL, BBRY, GOOG, IT, MSFT
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