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Smartphone sales to hit lowest growth this year at 7%

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gartner? smartphone? PC? mobile phone market? Skylake?

Smartphone sales will increase at the lowest rate on record and PC sales will decline again this year, according to the latest forecast from Gartner Inc. The market analyst said it expects smartphone sales to grow seven per cent this year to reach 1.5 billion units, which would mark the first time that smartphone sales grew at less than 10 per cent in a year, added the market research firm.

"The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

Atwal added that worsening economic conditions have historically had a negligible impact on smartphone sales. But that is no longer the case, he said. Smartphone sales in both North America and China are forecast to be roughly flat this year.

The total mobile phone market is forecast to reach 1.9 billion units in 2016, Gartner said.

Combined, global sales of PCs, tablets, "ultramobiles" and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.4 billion in 2016, an increase of less than one per cent from 2015, Gartner said.

Meanwhile, Gartner predicted that PC sales will decline once again in 2016. The firm projected that global PC shipments will decline 1.5 per cent to 284 million units this year, with shipments of traditional PCs on pace to decline nearly seven per cent.

Device shipments by type

Figure 1: Gartner forecasted smartphone sales to grow seven per cent this year to reach 1.5 billion units, which would mark the first time that smartphone sales grew at less than 10 per cent in a year.

The good news is that Gartner also predicts that the PC market will "bottom out" this year, returning to growth next year.

"In 2016, the PC market will reach its last year of decline before returning to growth in 2017," Atwal said. "The biggest challenge, and potential benefit for the PC market, is the integration of Windows 10 with Intel's Skylake architecture. It has the potential for new form factors with more attractive features."

Gartner also predicted that frustration with the limitations of tablets will drive some consumers and businesses to review new form factors.

"However, to draw their interest the PC manufacturers need to ensure that they meet demand with the right products at the right price," Atwal said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times





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