Tablet sales are on a tear, while desktop swoon continues

If you thought the tablet growth spurt might be fading you should think again. The latest numbers from Gartner(s it) show tablet sales skyrocketing an estimated 53.4 percent this year to 184 million units from 120 million units in 2012. And the woebegone desktop category continues to struggle — exhibiting an 8.4 percent decline year over year to 303 million units shipped from 341 million for last year.

As for phones, by far the biggest category in terms of units, growth is expected to be 3.7 percent for the year with volume of 1.8 billion units shipped, up from 1.74 billion last year.

The market across all devices is driven by a shift to lower cost devices, according to Gartner.

Gartner Device shipments cy 2013 units

For a look at the lay of the land for device operating systems, check out the chart below. Android(s goog) still leads by a wide margin over Windows(s msft), which saw a decline of about 4.3 percent, but Gartner expects growth to resume (about 9.7 percent) next year. Blackberry(s bby), saw shipments fall 33 percent to 23,000 units from 34.5 thousand. And Apple iPhone units shipments are expected to rise to 271 million from 212 million last year.

Gartner said Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia this year did not have a huge effect on its forecast since Nokia was assumed to have accounted for the bulk of Windows Phone share anyway.

Device OS Gartner CY 2013