Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are estimated to reach 2.5 billion units in 2015, an increase of 2.8% over 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In spending terms, the global computing devices market (PCs and ultramobiles) is on pace to reach US$226 billion, a 7.2% decline in current U.S. dollars, says the research group.
Stripping out the impact of exchange-rate movements (constant U.S. dollars), the global computing devices spending will decrease 3.1 percent in 2015. The global PC market is on pace to total 306 million units in 2015, a 2.4 percent decrease over 2014.
“The fall in PC purchases is primarily due to expected price increases by vendors in Europe and other regions, which is forced by local currency depreciation against the dollar,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “The currency squeeze is forcing PC vendors to increase their prices in order to remain profitable and, as result, it is suppressing purchases. We expect businesses will delay purchases of new PCs, and consumers will delay or ‘de-feature’ their purchases. However, this reduction in purchasing is not a downturn, it is a reshaping of the market driven by currency.”
The mobile phone market, the largest and most profitable segment of the global device market, is expected to total 1.9 billion units and grow 3.5% in 2015. The presence of cheaper smartphones will continue to appeal to consumers, and counter the need to increase prices. Mobile phone pricing has been increasing over the last few years driven by a rising premium-phone average selling price, but now will remain flat or slightly down as the smartphone market reaches saturation over the next few years.
“Consumers will continue to prioritize spending on phones over PCs and tablets in 2015,” says Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.