News Feature | July 29, 2014

Gartner Says PC Sales Rally, Yet Still On The Decline

By Cheryl Knight, contributing writer

PC Sales Rally

A study by Gartner details recovering sales of desktops and laptop PCs, even though PC sales are still down overall, as the sale of mobile device, such as tablets and smartphones, continues to rise.

Falling PC Sales

With PC sales lagging behind that of other devices, any sign of growth in that market represents positive movement. And while there was a decline of 9.5 percent in PC sales in 2013, this year that decline is only estimated to be 2.9 percent. Furthermore, 2015 should see the number of shipments of PCs, including desktops, notebooks, and ultrabooks, grow by 317 million units, close to the number of units shipped in 2013. Part of this increase in PC sales is attributed to business upgrades from Windows XP and the replacement of 60 million older PCs by companies in mature markets on a global scale.

According to Loren Loverde, vice president of Worldwide PC Trackers, in an IDC press release, the cause of slumping PC sales in emerging regions resulted because they are “more affected by a weak economic environment, as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities. We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”

The Advent Of Mobile Devices

On the other side of the coin, mobile device purchases are expected to continue trending upward, despite the fact that tablets and smartphones are entering the late adoption phase of their lifecycle. This rise in sales is expected to rise by 24 percent for the year of 2014, or 256 million units, and almost 321 million more in 2015. The real growth lies in the sales of smartphones, which should account for 88 percent of all mobile phone sales by 2018. In the short term, shipments should top 1.8 billion units in 2014 and a further 1.9 billion in 2015.

The increase in the sale of mobile devices has been a trend for years and presents a great opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs), according to an N-able article for BSM. Mobile devices, and smartphones in particular, are expected to reach 15 billion on a global level by 2015. With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place at many companies, control of those mobile devices continues to be a hot topic issue. The ability of clients to remotely monitor and manage their mobile devices provides another area of service that MSPs can provide.