Gartner predicts in-use global devices will hit 6.2 billion this year

The Gartner logo in front of a laptop and a tablet

The analyst firm Gartner has predicted that in-use devices including PCs, tablets, and mobile phones, will reach 6.2 billion units this year. According to the firm, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed device usage patterns and is ultimately increasing the number of devices that each person has.

According to data from the firm, the 6.2 billion figure is set to rise by a further 3.2% in 2021 reaching 6.4 billion units. The biggest loser as a result of the pandemic is desktop PCs which are expected to decline from 522 million in 2020 to 470 million in 2022, however, the usage of laptops and tablets will increase by 8.8% and 11.7% respectively as they’re preferred by people working from home.

A chart showing in-use devices by category
Image via Gartner

Commenting on the data, Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed device usage patterns of employees and consumers. 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.”

In addition to laptops and tablets doing well in 2020, smartphones are expected to see an in-use increase of 1% this year following a decline of 2.6% last year. The analyst said that lower-priced 5G handsets will encourage people to upgrade their smartphone or finally make the shift from a feature phone.

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