In the event you needed more evidence that the PC business isn’t a growth sector, Gartner has just released new numbers projecting a 10.6 percent decline in PC shipments this year.
While PCs are down, global shipments of all personal computing devices are expected to grow 5.9 percent, driven by expansion in tablet and mobile phone shipments as well as a doubling in the ultramobile device category, which includes Chromebooks and other similar devices.
While Gartner expects the PC market to continue to decline into next year at a slower pace, they predict shipments of ultramobile devices will nearly double again next year. Tablet growth is expected to slow in 2014 as fewer consumers need to purchase new tablets.
Microsoft has been making significant attempts to expand into tablets — most recently seeking to move more of its products in the education sector — but according to Gartner, that’s not quite enough. Shipments of Windows devices are expected to decrease by two percent this year, though the projections currently indicate that they will rebound next year.
Android, on the other hand, comes out the clear winner in market share growth. Device shipments are expected to grow more than 71 percent this year and are projected to top one billion units per year in 2014.
Sales of Apple devices are expected to grow 39 percent this year, then taper off to 20 percent growth next year.
“Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market,” says Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President at Gartner, in a news release.
The message there is clear: if Microsoft wants to see future growth, it needs to step up its mobile game.
Previously on GeekWire: Study: One-third of Americans now own tablets
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.