The number of global devices shipped in 2018 will increase by 2 per cent year-on-year, according to industry analysts at Gartner. Reaching its highest figure since 2015, device shipment figures were given a boost by strong demand for PCs and tablets. In total, worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, according to Gartner.
Research director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal, said the latest survey proves the misconception that the world only operates on mobiles and smartphone devices.
“Our latest online end-user survey shows that users depend just as much on PCs or tablets as they do on smartphones," he said. "Some 40 per cent of respondents said that they use mostly a PC or tablet for certain daily experiences, such as reading and writing detailed emails or watching videos, while 34 per cent mostly use a smartphone for its convenience while on the move."
He added: "Users holding onto their PCs for longer remains a major issue for the PC market. In contrast, users continue to replace their smartphone quite frequently."
Business PC shipments are estimated to return to growth by the end of 2017, driven by faster Windows 10 replacement in many regions, especially in Western Europe. "Despite the fact that prices have been rising due to higher component costs, Windows 10 replacements have kept the PC market relatively stable through 2017," said Atwal. "We estimate that the PC market (desk-based, notebook and ultramobiles) is set to return to 0.8 percent growth in 2018."
Meanwhile mobile phone sales are expected to return to year-over-year growth in 2018, with shipments totalling 1.9 billion units. Smartphones will represent 86 per cent of total mobile phone shipments in 2018, up 6 per cent from 2017.
“We expect Apple's iPhone X to be the sales driver in North America, China and Western Europe, despite its high price. Given the late November availability of the iPhone X, we expect the iPhone's replacement cycle to flow more strongly into 2018," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. "Decrease in total mobile phone demand in 2017 is also expected to come from a weaker lower end of the smartphone market," said Cozza. "For this segment, local vendors continue to struggle against the shift toward top brands, while component price increases affect the ability of some Android vendors to compete more aggressively on price."