Worldwide shipments of tablets are expected to top the PC market by next year, despite a slowdown in sales, says research firm Gartner.Next year, traditional PCs and ultramobile devices will combine to ship 317 million units, while shipments of tablets will top 320 million.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the PC market. Gartner says PCs will cut declines this year, experiencing only a 2.9% decrease compared to nearly 10% the year before.
“Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
While global tablet shipments continue to grow, the market is showing signs of a slowdown, as demand for tablets with smaller screens wanes and more users shift to “phablets,” smartphones with much larger displays.
Meanwhile, smartphone sales will continue to surge. Gartner estimates smartphones will make up 66% of global mobile phone sales this year, and jump to 88% by 2018.