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Home > News > Industry News > PCs down, smartphones up, says.....

PCs down, smartphones up, says Gartner

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2017-07-06
Sales of PCs, tablets and smartphones will be flat this year, reports Gartner.

“Overall, the shipment growth of the device market is steady for the first time in many years,” says Gertner’s Ranjit Atwal, “PC shipments are slightly lower while phone shipments are slightly higher. 

PC shipments are on pace to drop 3% 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. 

“PC buyers continue to put quality and functionality ahead of price,” says Atwal. 

Smartphone shipments will grow 5% 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. The smartphone market is now more dependent on new devices that offer something different, as users are extending their purchasing cycles and need to be enticed to make a replacement. 

The “basic” smartphone market is expected to record 686 million shipments in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016. Consumers have already accepted the greater value attained from the better capabilities of basic smartphones, compared to low-end utility devices. Therefore, ASPs of mid- and high-range smartphones continue to increase. 

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 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. 

“Today, the user experience with new technologies such as AI and VPAs is too often below the standard found in the rest of the device, and the cost to raise the standard quickly is prohibitive, relative to the benefits,” says Atwal.