SAN FRANCISCO—Combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are expected to increase 9 percent to 2.4 billion globally in 2013, even as traditional PC shipments are projected to fall meaningfully, according to market research firm Gartner Inc.
Shipments of traditional PCs are expected to decline nearly 8 percent globally this year, while tablet sales are expected to surge by nearly 70 percent, according to Gartner (Stamford, Conn.). Last year the PC market contracted for the first time since 2001.
Since last year, consumers have been voting with their wallets—favoring lower cost tablets and smartphones over the traditional PC. The shift is part of changing consumer behavior spotlighted by Gartner and other research firms as consumers increasingly favor the convenience, mobility and lower sticker price of tablets to traditional notebook and desktop computers.
According to Gartner, combined shipments of these computing devices will continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017. But the mix of these devices is expected to change significantly that time, Gartner said.
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"While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.
"As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis," Milanesi