The world in figures: IT Hardware
More than $1trn will be spent on hardware, including telecommunications gear, in 2014 with tablets expected to grow by 40%, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. Salespeople, executives and even doctors will find ever more uses for portable screens.
More than $1trn will be spent on hardware, including telecommunications gear, in 2014.
Sales of tablet computers will grow by 40%, gaining further ground on personal computers (PCs), according to Forrester, a research company. Globally, the tablet-hooked population will swell to around half a billion. The convenience of tablets is only part of the story: they are getting cheaper, especially in emerging markets, where the average price will be less than $350 in 2014, down 30% in the past three years, according to IDC, another research firm.
Even so, well over 1bn people will still write, compute and browse the internet the old-fashioned way: on PCs. As tablets shrink—most models are now shorter than 8 inches (20cm) — their threat to chunkier machines will become less direct.
Laptops will themselves get sleeker and more tactile. The prospects for pricey “ultraslim” models (less than 0.8 inches thick) are set to improve, thanks partly to greater take-up of Intel’s fourth-generation Haswell processor. More touch-screen laptops running Microsoft’s initially disappointing Windows 8 will hit the shops. Even quaint desktops are promised a boost by companies replacing old models before Microsoft ends user support for its Windows XP operating system in April.
To watch: Sweetening the pill? Tablets are more for the living room than the office, where PCs rule. But salespeople, executives and even doctors will find ever more uses for portable screens, which can be easily turned and shown to customers, partners or patients. Businesses will own 14% of all tablets in 2014, double the share in 2010.
From The World In 2014 magazine, © 2013 The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved.
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