Worldwide PCs in use surpass 1 billion, next billion to come in 2014

So, we hear that Planet Earth is home to four billion phone lines. Now it can claim to house over one billion installed PCs -- what do those neighboring planets have on that, huh? According to research firm Gartner, the number of "installed PCs worldwide has surpassed 1 billion units," and it estimates that said figure is growing at around 12-percent annually. Should this trend continue, we'll be reporting on 2 billion sometime during 2014. It should be noted that this figure accounts for computers in use rather than units shipped, and while the current ratio remains slanted towards mature markets, Gartner expects emerging markets to (expectedly) account for a larger share as we climb to 2 billion. Unsurprisingly, the firm also suggests that around 180 million PCs will be replaced this year, with around 35 million of those hitting landfills "with little or no regard for their toxic content." Kind of puts a damper on things, wouldn't you say?

[Via Reuters, image courtesy of Wikimedia]