Sales of desktop PCs will continue to slide

(Photo: Flickr / Dell Inc.)Computers to be recycled- Earth Day 2011

Global sales of desktops and laptops are forecast to fall by 6% this compared to last year and are expected to drop again by nearly 5% in 2015.

American IT services and advisory firm Gartner, Inc. expects close to 277 million PCs to ship to retailers in 2014. This total is projected to fall to 263 million units in 2015. It noted that in recent years, two-thirds of laptop and desktop owners have replaced their hardware with updated models.

Of the remaining third, most replaced their old machines with tablets and tablet hybrids, with a smaller number not buying replacements of any kind.

The recent trend toward replacing laptops with tablets will also weaken in 2014, because both consumers and businesses will become more discriminating as they try to determine the right device for the right job.

Despite this, global tablet sales are forecast to grow 38.6% in 2014 to 270.7 million units, with faster growth coming from markets outside the US where lower cost, smaller and non-branded tablets will make a difference. Gartner said that hybrid tablets will add another 37 million units to that 2014 total.

That jump in expected tablet sales is double the increase for 2014 predicted by other market research firms. IDC expects 214 million tablets, including 2-in-1 hybrids, to be shipped this year. IDC believes that non-branded tablet sales will slow in 2014 after years of strong growth.

Gartner also said that 1.9 billion mobile phones of all types will ship in 2014. Shipments of all categories of PCs, tablets, hybrids and mobile phones will hit 2.479.8 billion in 2014 compared to  2.319 billion last year. That figure is expected to reach 2.627 billion in 2015.

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