Worldwide shipments of devices – PCs, tablets and mobile phones – reached 2.28 billion units in 2017 and will hit 2.32 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2.1 percent, Gartner said on Monday.
When it comes to which segment will drive overall growth this year, mobile phone market – led by high-end smartphones and premium Apple and Microsoft Windows 10 devices – will stimulate higher demand.
By 2021, 9 percent of smartphones sold will support 5G, Gartner said.
“We will see more buyers focusing on value, rather than just price, and, therefore, considering higher-priced devices,” Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.
The shipments of traditional PCs will decline by 5.4 percent in 2018, with notebooks showing the steepest decline (6.8 percent). The premium ultra-mobile market will be the only PC segment to achieve growth in 2018, without which the overall PC market would decline. Mobile phone shipments will increase by 2.6 percent in 2018, with the total amounting to 1.9 billion units. In 2018, smartphone sales will grow by 6.2 percent, to represent 87 percent of mobile phone sales.
“We expect Apple smartphone sales to grow by more than the market average in 2018, with the launch of new models fuelling stronger replacement cycles,” said Roberta Cozza, Research Director at Gartner.
5G phones will reach the market in 2019, when rollouts of 5G networks will start in select countries, such as the US and South Korea.
“We predict that by 2021, 9 percent of smartphones sold will support 5G,” said Cozza. “Overall, 5G will be a significant driver of video and streaming services, as it will bring faster uplinks and support new AI applications.”