Worldwide device shipments will decline 0.3% in 2017: Gartner

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According to the report by Gartner, Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets, and smartphones are expected to exceed 2.3 billion units in 2017, a decline of 0.3 percent from 2016.

Worldwide device shipments will decline 0.3% in 2017: Gartner

However, the report said that the market is forecast to return to growth in 2018 with a 1.6 percent increase in shipments.

"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 report added.

"Overall, the shipment growth of the device market is steady for the first time in many years," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

"The Samsung S8 and S8 Plus have had a strong impact so far in 2017, with users undeterred by battery issues that affected the Note 7 at the end of 2016. This good start points to a rebound for Samsung," said Roberta Cozza research director at Gartner. "Continued premium smartphone growth in 2017 will also be highly dependent on the forthcoming anniversary edition of Apple's iPhone, which should bring more drastic feature and design upgrades than the last few iterations. Recent announcements from Apple indicate that some new technologies and functionalities may also appear in the next iPhone in areas like augmented reality and improved machine learning."

He said, "PC shipments are slightly lower while smartphone shipments are slightly higher - leading to a slight downward revision in shipments from the previous forecast."

Gartner pointed out that, PC shipments are on pace to drop 3 percent 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," said Atwal. "Many organizations are coming to the end of their evaluation periods for Windows 10, and are now increasing the speed at which they adopt new PCs as they see the clear benefits of better security and newer hardware."



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