According to market researcher firm Granter, global shipments of devices including PCs, tablets and mobile phones totalled 2.28 billion units in 2017 and will reach 2.32 billion units in 2018 – an increase of 2.1 per cent.
Two markets 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.
Traditional PC shipments will decline by 5.4 per cent in 2018, with notebooks showing the steepest decline (6.8 per cent). The premium ultramobile market will be the only PC segment to achieve growth in 2018, without which the overall PC market would decline.
5G phones will reach the market in 2019, when rollouts of 5G networks will start in select countries, such as the US and South Korea.
According to Gartner, by 2021, nine per cent of smartphones sold will support 5G and the mobile phone shipments will increase by 2.6 per cent in 2018, with a total amounting to 1.9 billion units.
In 2018, smartphone sales will grow by 6.2 per cent to represent 87 percent 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 fuelling stronger replacement cycles,’ added Roberta Cozza, Research Director at Gartner.
In 2018, smartphone vendors will focus on delivering more compelling personalised experiences not only via on-device (AI), virtual personal assistants and more natural user interfaces but also through biometrics and further enhancements to display and camera features.