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Gartner: User Spending on Devices to Decline in 2016

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Gartner predicts global end user spending on devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) will see a first decline of -0.5% in 2016, even as shipments reach 2.4 billion units, a 1.9% increase over 2015.

Gartner device forecast

Such results are due to country-level economic conditions. As the analyst puts it, “vendors can no longer market their products with the mind of only targeting the mature and emerging market. Driven by economic variations the market is splitting into four categories-- economically challenged mature markets, economically stable mature markets and the same for emerging markets. Russia and Brazil will fall into the category of economically challenged emerging markets while India will be stable, and Japan will belong to the economically challenged mature market.”

PC shipments are set to total 287 million units in 2016, a -1% decline forecast to increase 4% in 2017. Gartner says ultramobile premium devices will drive the PC market through the move to Windows 10 and Intel Skylake architecture, particularly as businesses migrate to Windows 10-powered hybrid 2-in-1 devices.

Meanwhile the smartphone market appears to move back to basics-- Gartner says users, particularly (but not only) those in emerging markets are replacing handsets with basic smartphones able to fulfill their needs at a lower cost. As a result, 2016 mobile phone shipments are forecast to increase by 2.6% (with smartphones making 82% of the total) while spending grows by just 1.2%.

“At MWC 2016, a number of Android vendors will, as usual, release the next generation of their smartphone flagships,” the analyst concludes. “We’ll hopefully see an increased focus on differentiation by enabling unique, but relevant experiences, expansion to new functionalities and better tie to key app and service ecosystems.”

Go Gartner Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones WW 2012-2019 Q4 2015 update