Two-billion PC target to be reached by 2014 says Gartner

A report by Research Analyst Firm Gartner estimates that roughly two billion PCs will be crunching their way on the surface of the planet by 2014, up from more than one billion PCs currently running.

Gartner's "Forecast: PC Installed Base, Worldwide, 2004-2012" also reports that one sixth, roughly 180 million PCs, will be replaced this year alone with about a fifth, that's 3 percent of the total number or 35 million computers, ending their lives in landfills as toxic waste.

The number of machines being sold is growing at 12 percent annually with mature markets like Europe, Japan and the US already accounting for nearly three fifth of the number of PCs worldwide with 15 percent of the world's population.

The forthcoming few years will also see an explosion in the number of computers on sale, partly because of cheap portable laptops which will flood the market and expand into new, unexplored markets, but also because mobile phones are increasingly being used like mini portable computers.

The iPhone for example is a perfect example of a miniature computer which perform the exact same functions of a desktop computer, while keeping both running costs and prices low.