Ultra Thin Notebooks Climbing While Desktop Sales Decline; Tablets Slowing

Recent numbers produced by Gartner reveal that while the overall number of devices sold in 2014 will be greater than what was seen in 2013, the projected number of traditional desktops and notebooks is continuing to drop, with 296.1 million units sold in 2013, 276.2 million units expected to be sold in 2014, and 261.6 million units in 2015.

The standard thin and light “ultrabook” sector will see a huge increase, with 21.5 million sold in 2013, 32.2 million projected to sell in 2014, and 55 million in 2015. Hybrid and clamshell “ultramobile” form factors are slowly catching on as well, with 3 million sold in 2013, 5.3 million expected in 2014 and 7.6 million projected for 2015.

Tablet sales, however, which have been skyrocketing, are no longer as prolific. “As with any devices, adoption goes through phases from the early to the late adopter,” the press release stated. “Tablets are currently moving onto the latter part of that curve in mature markets. Gartner estimates that sales of tablets will see a relative slowdown in 2014 to reach 256 million units, an increase of 23.9 percent from 2013.”

“Lower demand from users for tablets with smaller screens, some in favor of larger screens, in mature markets, and the shift towards phablets in South-East Asia are slowing global tablet penetration,” the press release added.

Just recently Apple revealed in its third quarter results (PDF) that its iPad tablet sales were down year-on-year for the second quarter in a row. 13.28 million units were sold during the quarter whereas 14.62 million units were sold in Q3 2013, which is down 9 percent.

Samsung in its second quarter results also noted a drop in tablet sales (PDF). “Shipments down due to weak overall demand, including declined demand for replacements,” Samsung reported. The company expects the demand to increase in the next quarter thanks to the season, new models and price competition, which is expected to “intensify.”

Numbers provided by Gartner show that Android has taken the lead in the operating system market, with 899 million units sold in 2013, 1.1 billion expected in 2014 and 1.3 billion in 2015. Following Android is Windows, iOS/Mac OS and a number of other platforms dumped into one single group. Apple’s iOS is expected to get a big boost once the iPhone 6 with its larger screen hit the market.

According to a chart provided by Gartner in its release, Microsoft saw 326 million Windows device shipments in 2013, and is expected to see 333.4 million in 2014 and 373.6 million in 2015. Shipments include PCs, "ultramobiles" (including tablets), and mobile phones.