Global shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2.0 per cent from 2017, market research firm Gartner has said. This is also the highest year-over-year growth since 2015.
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 six per cent from 2017.
Apple's iPhone X will be 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.
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. The PC market (desk-based, notebook and ultramobiles) is set to return to 0.8 percent growth in 2018, Gartner said.
This upward trend is assisted by two factors. The PC market in Russia has been positively influenced by an upturn in the country's economic prospects, which has seen business spending on PCs increase by five percent in 2017. This growth will persist into 2018. Spending is primarily focused on desktop PCs, which are more aggressively priced than mobile PCs or hybrid devices.
The second factor is China, where the move to Windows 10 has been delayed due to security and privacy issues, leading to slow PC sales in 2017. However, Microsoft is now working with a Chinese government agency to develop a government-approved version.
The study was conducted online during June and July 2017 among 16,537 respondents ranging from 18 through 74 years old, in India, US, Britain, Germany and China.
Forty per cent of respondents said that they use mostly a PC/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.