Gartner Says Worldwide Device Shipments Will Increase 2.0 Percent in 2018

Bangalore, India, 17th October, 2017 — Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2.0 percent from 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. This would be the highest year-over-year growth since 2015. The misconception persists that the world has gone mobile and relies solely on smartphones. "However, our latest online end-user survey* shows that users depend just as much on PCs or tablets as they do on smartphones," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Forty percent of respondents said that they use mostly a PC/tablet for certain daily experiences, such as reading and writing detailed emails or watching videos, while 34 percent mostly use a smartphone for its convenience while on the move."

Mr. Atwal added: "Users holdingonto their PCs for longer remains a major issue for the PC market. In contrast,users continue to replace their smartphone quite frequently." TraditionalPC shipments are forecast to decline 4.4 percent in 2018 while mobile phoneshipments are expected to increase 2.4 percent  


Driven by Positive Business PC Sales,PC Market to Grow 0.8 Percent in 2018

Business PC shipments are estimated toreturn to growth by the end of 2017, driven by faster Windows 10 replacement inmany regions, especially in Western Europe. "Despite the fact that priceshave been rising due to higher component costs, Windows 10 replacements havekept the PC market relatively stable through 2017," said Mr. Atwal. “Weestimate that the PC market (desk-based, notebook and ultramobiles) is set toreturn to 0.8 percent growth in 2018.”


This upward trend is assisted by twofactors. The PC market in Russia has been positively influenced by an upturn inthe country's economic prospects, which has seen business spending on PCsincrease by 5 percent in 2017. This growth will persist into 2018. Spending isprimarily focused on desktop PCs, which are more aggressively priced thanmobile PCs or hybrid devices.


The second factor is China, where themove to Windows 10 has been delayed due to security and privacy issues, leadingto slow PC sales in 2017. However, Microsoft is now working with a Chinesegovernment agency to develop a government-approved version. "The featuresof Windows 10 could be particularly useful for the Chinese Government that islooking to move from desktops and notebooks to ultramobile premiumdevices," said Mr. Atwal. "We expect this development to positivelyimpact the PC market in 2018."


SmartphoneSales to Total More Than 1.6 Billion Units in 2018

Mobile phone sales are expected toreturn to year-over-year growth in 2018, with shipments totaling 1.9 billionunits. Smartphones will represent 86 percent of total mobile phone shipments in2018, up 6 percent from 2017.


We expect Apple's iPhone X to be thesales driver in North America, China and Western Europe, despite its highprice. "Given the late November availability of the iPhone X, we expectthe iPhone's replacement cycle to flow more strongly into 2018,"said RobertaCozza, research director at Gartner.


Component shortages could lead to theinability to meet smartphone demand in the fourth quarter of 2017, furtherfavoring unit sales moving into 2018. "Decrease in total mobile phonedemand in 2017 is also expected to come from a weaker lower end of thesmartphone market," said Ms. Cozza. "For this segment, local vendorscontinue to struggle against the shift toward top brands, while component priceincreases affect the ability of some Android vendors to compete moreaggressively on price." While this is expecting to limit smartphone growthin 2017, the 2018 growth rate is accordingly estimated to be higher thanpreviously forecast.


More-detailed analysis is available to Gartner clients in thereport "Forecast:PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2015-2021, 3Q17 Update."


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