Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) says global smartphone sales will for the first time exhibit single-digit growth in 2016. Global smartphone sales are estimated to reach 1.5 billion units in 2016, a 7% growth from 2015. The total mobile phone market is forecast to reach 1.9 billion units in 2016.
Worldwide combined shipments for devices (personal computers, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2016, a 0.65% increase from 2015, according to the research group. End-user spending in constant US dollars is estimated to decline by 1.6% year-on-year.
“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7% and 0.4% growth, respectively.”
While smartphone sales will continue to grow in emerging markets, the growth will slow down. Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging Asia/Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.
The global personal computer shipment market is expected to total 284 million units in 2016, a decline of 1.5% year-on-year. Traditional PCs are on pace to decline 6.7% in 2016.
“In 2016, the PC market will reach its last year of decline before returning to growth in 2017,” says Atwal. “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.”