Tablets still popular, but move from PCs slowing

The transition from PC to tablet computers is beginning to slow, even as sales of mobile devices continues to move upward.

Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, an indicator of popular interest, is projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, up 6.9 percent from the previous year, Gartner Inc. says in a new report.

Shipments of PCs continue to tumble, down about 6.6 percent from 2013. Gartner says sales of traditional PCs will continue to hamper the overall growth of devices, and the transition to tablets as the primary computer for users will decline, even as tablet shipments rose 38 percent from 2013. Consumers and businesses are taking the time to pair the right device with the right job – for example, whether a tablet computer is more effective than a laptop in the business environment.

Consumers will also increasingly look for other tablet features beyond the price, such as smaller screens, greater portability and better connectivity in their replacement tablets.

Smartphones and other mobile phones represent the largest segment of the overall device market, with shipments expected to hit 1.9 billion this year, up 4.9 percent from 2013. Growth in this segment is projected to come from less expensive premium phones and higher-end basic phones.