Global shipments of devices including PCs, tablets, ultramobiles, and mobile phones are expected to remain flat at 2.3 billion through the end of 2017, according to a new Gartner forecast.
Gartner predicted 2017 shipment figures would mirror 2016 estimates, but noted a slight uptick in shipment levels for ultramobiles and mobile phones is expected in 2018.
“The global devices market is stagnating,” Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal commented. “Mobile phone shipments are only growing in emerging Asia/Pacific markets, and the PC market is just reaching the bottom of its decline. 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.”
By segment, Gartner indicated shipments of traditional PCs will actually lose ground in both 2017 and 2018 – falling from 219 million shipments in 2016 to 198 million in 2018 – while premium ultramobiles (including devices like Apple’s MacBook Air and Windows 10 products) and mobile phones will make gains moving through 2018 and beyond. Basic ultramobiles (including tablets like Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Fire HD, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2), though, will remain leveled out at around 166 million units shipped from 2017 through 2019.
Part of the bump for premium ultramobile and mobile phones will come from the turning of the device replacement cycle toward the end of the forecast period, Gartner’s report said. But Atwal noted people in emerging markets will replace their devices more regularly than users in mature markets since the former tend to see smartphones as their main computing device.