The number of devices including laptops and desk-based personal computers, tablets and mobile phones in use globally is expected to total 6.2 billion units in 2021, according to Gartner, Inc.

According to Gartner’s forecasts, 125 million additional laptops and tablets are expected to be in use in 2021 than in 2020.

“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,” said Atwal.

The global devices installed base is set to reach 6.4 billion units in 2022, up 3.2 per cent from 2021.

A shift to remote work amid the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the use of tablets and laptops while exacerbating the decline of desktop PCs, as per the report.

The number of laptops and tablets in use will increase 8.8 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively, while the number of desk-based PCs in use is expected to decline from 522 million in use in 2020 to a forecasted 470 million in use in 2022.

As for smartphones, there a renewed user confidence in the smartphone market.

“Although the number of smartphones in use declined 2.6 per cent in 2020, smartphone installed base is on pace to return to growth with a 1 per cent increase in 2021,” the report said.

“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,” he said.

“Connectivity is already a pain-point for many users who are working remotely. 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,” he added.

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