Devices market set for over 6% 2014 growth

2014-03-31 11:30
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Worldwide growth of mobile devices is projected to grow by 6.9% in 2014, driven mainly by tablets and smartphones, a survey has indicated.

According to research by industry tracker Garter, tablets will grow to 270 million units in 2014, up from 195 million in 2013, while smartphones will increase slightly to 1.895 billion, and be in spitting distance of two billion by the end of 2015.

The Gartner survey showed that PCs (both desktop and laptops) will continue to slide from 296 million in 2013 to 263 million in 2015.

The research firm believes that PCs will find its niche in the mobile device ecosystem.

"Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onward as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

"As they do this, we will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets), or hybrid devices (detachable or convertible devices), fit in the overall portfolio of devices," Atwal added.


Some companies have begun to exploit the tablet form factor and popularity in laptop offerings.

Samsung, Lenovo, HP and Asus have already released so-called "convertible laptops" which function like tablets with a connected keyboard.

These are generally lighter than their more traditional counterparts, though in some instances they also lack functionality and also often lack standardised ports to connect to peripherals.

Gartner said that the growth in mobile phones would come mainly from the lower end of the premium market.

Manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE and HiSense are well placed to exploit this growth curve, expected to come from developing markets like Latin America, South East Asia and Africa.

In SA, Huawei sells the Ascend Y220 for R449 and Ascend Y300 for R999. Acer has pivoted toward smartphones in developing markets with its Liquid range and Nokia sells its range of X series Android compatible smartphones at around $122 with dual SIM capability.

"While the lack of compelling hardware innovation marginally extended replacement cycles in 2013, we've witnessed an upgrade path in the emerging markets. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe have all upgraded their phones, which will help to compensate for mature market weakness in the near term," said Annette Zimmermann, principal research analyst at Gartner.

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