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‘Global Shipment Of PCs, Tablets And Smartphones Likely To Beat 2.3 Billion Units In 2017’

Overall smartphone shipments will grow 5 per cent in 2017, reaching nearly 1.6 billion units. End-user spending continues to shift from low-cost "utility" phones toward higher priced "basic" and "premium" smartphones

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Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets, and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3 billion units in 2017; a decline of 0.3 per cent from 2016, according to American research and advisory firm Gartner.

The market is forecast to return to growth in 2018 with 1.6 per cent increase in shipments, the firm added.

Ranjit Atwal, Research Director, Gartner, said, "Overall, the shipment growth of the device market is steady for the first time in many years. PC shipments are slightly lower while phone shipments are slightly higher — leading to a slight downward revision in shipments from the previous forecast."

Smartphone Shipments Set Up for Strong Growth in 2017

Overall smartphone shipments will grow 5 per cent in 2017, reaching nearly 1.6 billion units. End-user spending continues to shift from low-cost "utility" phones toward higher priced "basic" and "premium" smartphones.

Roberta Cozza, Research Director, Gartner, said, "The Samsung S8 and S8 Plus have had a strong impact so far in 2017, with users undeterred by battery issues that affected the Note 7 at the end of 2016.

"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 per cent from 2016. "Consumers have already accepted the greater value attained from the better capabilities of basic smartphones, compared to low-end utility devices, said Cozza."The Chinese players currently pushing basic smartphones with premium feel and features into the market will continue to strengthen the shift away from low-end utility phones toward basic smartphones."

PC Market Decline Is Slowing 

PC shipments are on pace to drop 3 per cent in 2017, but the rate of decline is slower than in recent years, alleviated by Windows 10 replacement purchasing. Prices for components such as DRAM memory and SSD hard drives continue to rise, creating headwinds for the global PC market and — to a lesser extent — the smartphone market. The impact of component pricing on PCs is being reduced for buyers as producers absorb some of the cost into their margins — fearing the alternative of a reduction of their share of a competitive market.

New Technologies Fail to Drive Demand

The total installed base for these devices is currently around 7 billion units, so vendors are constantly looking at ways to add new capabilities that can give their products an edge in the market. Many new technologies — such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual personal assistants (VPAs) — will grow in adoption throughout the forecast period, yet it is difficult to see any revolutionary impact in early iterations.


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gartner smartphones tablets personal computers