Huge thirst for tablets counterbalances sinking PC shipments

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Growing demand for tablets will boost global shipments as the market is driven by a shift to lower-priced devices across the board, research company Gartner said today. (Release)

The predicted 11.2 per cent decline in traditional PCs this year (that's 303m units) will be counteracted by tablet growth of 42.7 per cent, with shipments reaching 184m units. Combined shipments are expected to reach 2.32bn units in 2013, a rise of 4.5 per cent, says Gartner.

Competition continues to increase when it comes to the smaller seven inch tablets. Ongoing price decline is paired with consumer preference: 47 per cent of 21,500 consumers surveyed by Gartner owned a tablet that was eight inches or under.

"Continuing on the trend we saw last year, we expect this holiday season to be all about smaller tablets as even the long-term holiday favorite — the smartphone — loses its appeal." said Gartner's research vice president Carolina Milanesi.

In the mobile phone market, steady growth continues, with shipments predicted to rise by 3.7 per cent to 1.81bn units this year. Expectation is that growth will come from mid-tier (rather than high-end) smartphones in mature markets and low-end Androids in emerging markets.