The rapid rise of ultramobile

Today we’re exploring the rapid rise of ultramobile technology. Recent analysis suggests tablets such as the iPad are continuing to eat the desktop PC’s lunch. The desktop PC still has a sizable market share, so it’s a sizable lunch for everyone involved. However market analysts Gartner predict that sales of mobile tablet devices will grow 42.7% this year, whilst sales of desktop PC’s continue to decline at a rate of 11.2%. It’s anticipated that there will be 184 million tablet devices sold.

PC Sales are in sharp decline

The outlook for future PC sales is not good and worse than Gartner initially envisaged for 2013. What we are seeing is explosive growth in a new product category named ‘ultramobile’. Ultramobile refers to lightweight laptops such as the Macbook Air and portable devices that are essentially running a full desktop OS (operating system).

The rapid growth of ultramobile

As such, ultramobile is expected to give the PC category a boost. However Gartner predicts that by the end of 2017, sales of tablet devices will outstrip both ultramobile and PC’s combined. Ultramobile is defined by it’s ability to fulfil the needs of users who want to work and play together using a single device. What users are buying are tablets in the traditional form factor of a PC with ultramobile.

The holiday season will be about tablet sales

What’s also interesting is the anticipated effect that increased tablet sales will have on the smartphone. Gartner suggested that ”Continuing on the trend we saw last year, we expect this holiday season to be all about smaller tablets as even the long-term holiday favourite — the smartphone — loses its appeal,”. It’s also key to consider that high end smartphones are losing out to mid-end and low-end devices, as developed markets become saturated at the top end and attention turns to new, emerging and developing mobile markets.

The importance of wearable technology

In terms of wearable mobile technology, Gartner predicts that such devices will attempt to accompany existing smartphones and tablets as opposed to replacing them entirely. Gartner envisages that less than 1% of consumers will substitute their smartphones with a combination of a wearable device and a tablet by 2017.


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