Gartner Sees Further Smartphone, PC Sales Slide In 2023

Mobile phone sales are expected to hit a new low this year, according to figures from Gartner, as shipments of PCs and other devices continue in a second consecutive year of declines.

Gartner projected mobile phone shipments would reach 1.34 billion units this year, a drop of 4 percent from last year’s 1.40 billion units and 1.43 billion units in 2021.

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to make up 1.23 billion of those units this year, down 4 percent from 1.28 billion in 2022.

The 2023 figures are close to those of 2009, at a time when Apple’s iPhone was first introducing the current concept of the smartphone.

Inflation effect

Mobile phone sales peaked six years later in 2015, at 1.9 billion units, and have been on the slide since then.

Gartner senior analyst Ranjit Atwal said PC and smartphone sales saw a boost during the pandemic, when people working from home were more reliant on technology, but began to slow in the middle of last year.

He said consumers were holding onto their phones “longer than expected”, from six to nine months, and were moving from fixed to flexible contracts in the absence of significant new technology.

“In addition, vendors are passing on inflationary component costs to users which is dampening demand further,” he said.

Recovery

As a result end-user spending on mobile phones is projected to decline 3.8 percent this year.

PC sales are expected to show a decline of 6.8 percent, after falling 16 percent last year.

But Gartner sees the slump slowing later in 2023 on expectations of a less pessimistic economic outlook, eventually leading to an increase in consumer and business spending.

Semiconductor and electronics maker Samsung said on Tuesday it sees demand for its chips returning in the second half of this year, as electronics sales rise.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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