Research firm Gartner predicts tablet sales will outsell PCs within four years. The firm's analysts anticipate sales of tablets will grow from 197.2 million units this year to 467.95 million units in 2017, whereas shipments of desktop and notebook PCs is expected to shrink from 315.23 million units this year to 271.61 million units in 2017. Combined shipments of PCs, tablets and cell phones are expected to increase 9 percent to 2.4 billion this year, but sales of tablets seeing a big increase at the expensive of traditional desktop and laptop computers.
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.