Worldwide device shipments to decline this year; Gartner
Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3 billion units in 2017
Worldwide growth in device shipments have reached a steady pace, yet research house Gartner has predicted that there will be a slight decline in 2017.
Gartner has forecasted that the shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3 billion this year, but will recover in 2018 with a 1.6% increase in shipments after a slight decline this year.
According to Gartner, the PC market decline is slowing which is alleviated by Windows 10 replacement purchasing, plus prices for components such as DRAM memory and SSD hard drives continue to rise, creating headwinds for the global PC market.
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said: "PC buyers continue to put quality and functionality ahead of price. Many organisations are coming to the end of their evaluation periods for Windows 10, and are now increasing the speed at which they adopt new PCs as they see the clear benefits of better security and newer hardware."
The smartphone market however is forecasted to grow 5% this year, as end-user spending continues to shift from low-cost utility phones towards higher priced basic and premium smartphones. Gartner also revealed that the smartphone market is now more dependent on new devices that offer something different, as users are extending their purchasing cycles and require to be enticed to make a replacement.
Roberta Cozza research director at Gartner, added: "Continued premium smartphone growth in 2017 will also be highly dependent on the forthcoming anniversary edition of Apple's iPhone, which should bring more-drastic feature and design upgrades than the last few iterations."
The "basic" smartphone market is expected to record 686 million shipments in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016.
"Consumers have already accepted the greater value attained from the better capabilities of basic smartphones, compared to low-end utility devices. Therefore, the average selling prices of mid- and high-range smartphones continue to increase," concluded Cozza.
Vendors are also exploring new ways to embed new capabilities into their products, such as artificial intelligence and virtual personal assistants, causing the device market to see a significant shift, especially when 5G wireless comes into play.