The reports of the death of tablet sales appear to be a bit premature, according to a new report that says the popular devices are likely to see sales grow 24% in 2014 and another 25% in 2015.
Gartner said tablet sales are expected to increase more than 50 million units over 2013 to some 256.3 million this year, and to grow to 321 million in 2015. Nine months ago, analysts expected tablet sales to reach 263.2 million this year.
Vendors sold 206.8 million tablets in 2013, more than the 184.4 million forecast, And, despite conjecture that “phablets” could replace the devices in the hearts of consumers, sales continue to be strong, likely driven, in part, by the popularity of online video.
Mobile phones – the gorilla in the market – are also expected to see strong growth. The report said 1.806 billion mobile phones were sold in 2013, and forecast 1.863 billion in 2014 and 1.946 billion in 2015; 3% and 5% growth respectively.
Gartner said sales of mobile devices, including hybrid and clamshell ultramobile devices, will grow 5% in 2014 and 7% in 2015.
Smartphone sales will represent 88 percent of global mobile phone sales by 2018 — up from 66 percent in 2014, the research showed.
Sales of traditional PCs, meanwhile, remain on a downward spiral, albeit with a slower one as businesses upgrade from Windows XP.
After selling 296 million PCs in 2013, the industry is expecting to see a decline to 276 million in 2014 and 261.7 million in 2015, a drop of 7% and 5% respectively.
Helping out PC share will be premium ultramobile devices, which are expected to grow 50% and 71% through 2-15, from 21.5 million units in 20-13 to 32.3 million in 2014 and 55 million in 2015.
Android, which has had a significant edge over iOS in terms of market share, is expected to continue to grow it’s lead, despite Apple’s expected release of iPhone 6 in several screen sizes.
Gartner said it expected Android to grow 30% and iOS 15% in the next two years.
“We expect the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 6 will attract pent-up demand for users who want a larger screen,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. “Windows phones will exhibit strong growth from a low base in 2014, and are projected to reach a 10 percent market share by 2018 — up from 4 percent in 2014.”
The 2014 Q1 Global Video Index showed that even with Android’s continued dominance in terms of market share, iOS held a significant edge in global video plays and was the leader in every region but Latin America.