Combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are on pace to total 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9% leap from 2012, according to Gartner.
Device shipments are forecast to continue to grow, reaching more than 2.9 billion units in 2017, but the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period. The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the transition from PCs to tablets.
Worldwide tablet shipments are forecast to total 197 million units in 2013, a 69.8% year-on-year jump.
Also, of some 1.9 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones – a surge of 48% year-on-year.
"While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," said Carolina Milanesi, research VP at Gartner.
Thus, the traditional PC market of notebooks and desk-based units is expected to decline 7.6% this year, reflecting of a long-term change in user behavior.
However, ultramobiles will help offset this decline so that sales of traditional PCs and ultramobiles combined show a 3.5% decline in 2013.