Shipment of devices like PCs, smartphones and tablets is expected to remain flat this year to total 2.32 billion units, according to research firm Gartner.
“Worldwide, combined shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones are projected to remain flat in 2017. Worldwide shipments for these devices are projected to total 2.32 billion units in 2017, the same as 2016 estimates,” it said in a report.
Gartner added that shipment is expected to touch 2.35 billion units in 2018 and 2.38 billion units in the following year. There were nearly seven billion phones, tablets and PCs in use in the world by the end of 2016.
“The global devices market is stagnating. Mobile phone shipments are only growing in emerging Asia-Pacific markets, and the PC market is just reaching the bottom of its decline,” Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal said. He added that average selling prices of devices are also beginning to stagnate because of market saturation and a slower rate of innovation.
“Consumers have fewer reasons to upgrade or buy traditional devices. They are seeking fresher experiences and applications in emerging categories such as head mounted displays (HMDs), virtual personal assistant (VPA) speakers and wearables,” he said.
The PC market is expected to see shipment of 266 million units this year, followed by 272 million (2018) and 278 million (2019), from 268 million units in 2016. The embattled PC market is expected to benefit from a replacement cycle towards the end of 2017, returning to growth in 2018.
Attractive premium ultramobile prices and functionality will entice buyers as traditional PC sales continue to decline, Gartner said. Mobile phones shipment is expected to grow from 1.88 billion last year to 1.89 billion this year and 1.92 billion in 2018 and 1.93 billion in 2019.
The mobile phone market is also expected to also benefit from replacements. There is, however, a difference in replacement activity between mature and emerging markets. “People in emerging markets still see smartphones as their main computing device and replace them more regularly than mature markets,” Atwal said.
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