Tablets threaten to kill off PC market as sales tumble again

There is more bad news for the PC market today, with a fresh report from Gartner predicting a 10.6 per cent decline in shipments within the category this year.

305 million PCs are expected to ship in 2013, down from the 341 million shipped last year. The number is expected to drop further in 2014, to 289 million.

Tablet computers are seen as the major reason for this decline, with more people buying a tablet than ever. Tablet shipments jumped a whopping 67.9 per cent from 2012 to 2013, up from 120 million to 201 million. This is expected to rise further to 276 million in 2014.

It is interesting to note how PC shipments still far outweighed tablet shipments in 2012, but how this number is almost even in 2014. The figures will likely skew further in favour of tablets in the coming years. An IDC report suggests tablets will bypass PCs by 2015.

The overall device market, which includes PCs, tablets and mobile phones, will hit 2.35 billion units this year - a 5.9 per cent increase over 2012. This will grow further to 2.5 billion next year, showing that the overall market is still very healthy and consumers have no problem spending on new devices.

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

"Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets.”