Worldwide device shipments are on course to increase by 2.1 per cent (year on year) in 2018. According to Gartner, shipments of devices – including PCs, tablets and mobile phones – are set to reach some 2.32 billion units by the year’s end. That is an increase on 2.1 per cent compared to the 2.28 billion devices moved in 2017.
Gartner identifies two markets that will drive overall growth in device shipments in 2018. First is the mobile phone market, led by the high-end smartphone segment. Second is the premium ultramobile market, where thin and light Apple and Microsoft Windows 10 devices are stimulating higher demand.
"Consumers have many technologies to choose from, which poses two main challenges for vendors. The first is to compete for wallet share, given how many devices consumers own. The second is to deliver value and maintain relevance — to offer the right device to the right audience," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "We will see more buyers focusing on value, rather than just price, and therefore considering higher-priced devices."
Mobile phone shipments will increase by 2.6 percent in 2018, with the total amounting to 1.9 billion units. In 2018, smartphone sales will grow by 6.2 per cent, to represent 87 per cent of mobile phone sales. "We expect Apple smartphone sales to grow by more than the market average in 2018, with the launch of new models fueling stronger replacement cycles," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.
The PC market will not fair so well, however. Gartner forecasts that shipments of traditional PCs will decline by 5.4 percent in 2018, with notebooks showing the steepest decline (6.8 percent). The premium ultramobile market will be the only PC segment to achieve growth in 2018, without which the overall PC market would decline. "DRAM costs have doubled since June 2016, and PC providers have increased PC prices since the first half of 2017," added Mr. Atwal. "This trend is likely to continue into 2018, until DRAM cost trends reverse."