Friday, 09 April 2021 08:47

Global installed base of devices to reach 6.2b in 2021: Gartner

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Global installed base of devices to reach 6.2b in 2021: Gartner Image by janeb13 from Pixabay

The number of devices in use globally will total 6.2 billion in 2021, the technology analyst firm Gartner says, adding that this includes PCs (laptops and desk-based), tablets and mobile phones.

The company said that this would mean 125 million more laptops and tablets would be in use this year.

The following year, the global devices installed base is expected to reach 6.4 billion, a rise of 3.2% from 2021.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed device usage patterns of employees and consumers,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner.

“With remote work turning into hybrid work, home education changing into digital education and interactive gaming moving to the cloud, both the types and number of devices people need, have and use will continue to rise.”

gartner installed base

Gartner said the shift to remote work, forced on people due to the pandemic, had led to a drop in the take-up of desktop PCs, but an increase in the use of tablets and laptops.

In keeping with this, the number of laptops and tablets in use in 2021 would rise by 8.8% and 11.7% respectively, while desk-based PCs were forecast to fall from 522 million in 2020 to 470 million in 2022.

The smartphone market is also expected to look up in 2021, with a 1% increase, after utilisation declined by 2.6% in 2020.

"With more variety and choice, and lower-priced 5G smartphones to choose from, consumers have begun to either upgrade their smartphones or upgrade from feature phones,” said Atwal.

“The smartphone is also a key tool that people use to communicate and share moments during social distancing and social isolation.”

The report also found that IT service and support was now being called upon to perform a more complex job as workers were using both company-owned devices and their own, running on Chrome, iOS and Android.

“Connectivity is already a pain-point for many users who are working remotely," said Atwal. "But as mobility returns to the workforce, the need to equip employees able to work anywhere with the right tools, will be crucial.

“Demand for connected 4G/5G laptops and other devices will rise as business justification increases.”


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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