THE PC MARKET will be "revived" this year thanks to businesses upgrading their Windows XP machines, analyst firm Gartner has said.
According to the analyst outfit, the PC market - which it counts as desktops, notebooks and "premium ultramobile devices" - will surge by over five percent this year. However, it will still be in negative figures, increasing from minus 9.5 percent in 2013 to minus 2.9 percent in 2014.
"2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said, adding that business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will "lessen the downward trend", especially in Western Europe.
"This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets," Atwal added.
However, Gartner said that the traditional PC market, which consists of desktop and notebooks only, will still be in decline and follow the same downward trend, on pace to contract 6.7 percent in 2014 and 5.3 percent in 2015.
Despite the continued decrease of traditional PC sales, Gartner said sales of smartphones, which exceeded those of the rest of the market in 2013, will continue to do well, estimating that smartphone sales will represent 88 percent of global mobile phone sales by 2018, up from 66 percent in 2014.
Gartner estimated that tablet sales 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 favour of larger screens, in mature markets, and the shift towards phablets in South-East Asia are slowing global tablet penetration," the firm said.
As for the operating system market, Gartner forecast that Android and iOS will drive growth with a 30 percent and 15 percent increase, respectively, in 2014.
"We expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen," said Gartner research director Annette Zimmermann, adding that Windows phones will see strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 percent market share by 2018, up from four percent in 2014.
Gartner also said that shipments of worldwide electronic devices on a whole will surge by over four percent this year, reaching 2.4 billion units in 2014. µ