Strong mobile and smartphone performance helps push worldwide device sales, but PC numbers fall again in latest Gartner devices forecast
The number of electronic devices we use in our everyday lives is set to continue growing, new figures have predicted.
In its latest Devices Forecast, analyst firm Gartner has said it expects over 2.5 billion devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) will ship this year across the world, equating to $606bn worth of spending and a 1.5 percent increase from 2014.
And although there were strong performances for some sectors, most notably smartphones and mobiles, PC sales fell yet again as more and more of us ditch the PC to go mobile.
The struggling PC market was hit by several major issues, not least the migration from Windows XP during the first half of the year and the currency depreciation against the dollar both affecting sales.
And ahead of the release of Windows 10 later this month, vendors are now looking to reduce their inventory levels to free up space for new devices powered by Microsoft’s latest software.
Overall, the global PC shipment market is expected to total 300 million units in 2015, a decline of 4.5 per cent year on year, the firm said.
“We do not expect the global PC market to recover until 2016,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
“The release of Windows 10 on July 29 will contribute to a slowing professional demand for mobile PCs and premium ultramobiles in 2015, as lifetimes extend by three months. However, as suppliers and buyers adjust to new prices, Windows 10 could boost replacements during 2016.”
There was happier news in the mobile device market, where continuing price drops encouraged sales across the globe, with 1,940m units expected to ship this year, up from 1,879 million in 2014.
However this is still a slowdown in growth, as the phone market growth rate hits 3.3 percent in 2015.
“The global market has been affected by a weaker performance in China. We have witnessed fewer and fewer first time buyers in China, a sign that the mobile phone market in there is reaching saturation. Vendors in China will have to win replacement buyers and improve the appeal of their premium offerings to attract upgrades, if they want to maintain or increase their market share,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner.
“Vendors looking to grow their performance in the global smartphone market will be challenged to quickly enhance their expansion into emerging markets outside of China, where we still witness a sizeable share of feature phones and an opportunity for double-digit smartphone growth,” concluded Ms Zimmermann.
Tablets also struggled, with sales falling 5.9 percent from last year to around 207m units this year, prompting Gartner to extend its estimation of the average lifetime of the tablet to three years by 2016.
“The tablet market is hit by fewer new buyers, extended life cycles and little innovation to encourage new purchases,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
“The tablet market is hit by fewer new buyers, extended life cycles and little innovation to encourage new purchases…The tablet has become a “nice to have” device, and there is no real need for an upgrade as regularly as for the phone.”
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