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PC downturn set to continue

Tablets and Apple to blame

Demand for Windows based PCs will remain soft this year and it won’t see much of a rebound in 2014. According to Gartner’s latest report, Apple’s operating systems could even overtake Windows by 2015, but only if mobile devices are included in the statistics.

Windows was in a comfortable lead last year, with 347 million devices sold, while Mac OS and iOS recorded 213 million. However, by 2015 Apple might end up in the lead. Of course, it should be noted that most of Apple’s shipments stem from tablet and smartphone sales, while the vast majority of Windows sales comes from PCs.

Android shipments are expected to hit 867 million devices this year, more than Apple and Microsoft combined. Android shipments will pass the 1 billion unit mark next year, but unlike Apple and Microsoft, Android doesn’t power traditional boxes and laptops.

Gartner expects sales of desktops and laptops to fall about 11 percent this year and 5 percent next year. At the same time tablets will continue to cannibalize the PC market. Tablet shipments this year should hit 202 million units, up from 120 million in 2012. In 2014 the market will gobble up an estimated 276 million tablets. Smartphone shipments will rise to 1.9 billion units, up from 1.7 billion this year.

Clearly this is not a very good time to be a PC vendor.

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