According to the latest device shipments report from IT market research firm Gartner, the global sales of personal computers, smartphones and tablets is set to have a slight decline by the end of the year when compared to 2014. Although this is a 1% drop in total shipments, the numbers inside it are quite interesting, showing the market trends for each device type. While PCs and tablets shipments are set to suffer a significant decline, smartphone numbers are still good, with a healthy increase in large parts thanks to Asian markets. To have a clear view of what is happening, let's check out these numbers.
PC shipments had a combined number of 314 million units leaving the factories in 2014. For this year, this number is expected to fall to 291 million units, a decline thanks to traditional desktop computers and regular laptops, which are set to sell 10% less than the previous 12 months. Meanwhile, the premium segment of ultra mobile computers in the likes of the MacBook Air and other ultrabooks should have a significant 18% growth when compared to last year, closing in around 44 million units - although not enough to compensate PC falls, resulting in an overall decline of 7.3%.
Tablet shipments are also expected to drop by around 11%, with one of the reasons being the fact that users are not replacing their slates very often. Mobile phones, on the other hand, are set to have a slight 1.4% increase year over year, closing in around 1.9 billion units to be shipped. This growth is mainly thanks to smartphones, which are set to grow by 14% in 2015, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the numbers with a 43% increase, as many people are replacing their feature phones by entry-level smartphones in developing markets including India and Indonesia.
For next year, the forecast is better for every segment with the exception of traditional PCs and notebooks. The total device shipments this year is set to be around 2.395 billion units. Next year, the number will rise to 2.459 billion, a 2.67% increase, and mobile phone sales are also to be thanked for this, as handset shipments will experience a 2.88% rise in sales, reaching 1.960 billion units and walking to close at 2 billion in 2017. According to Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal, the restraint in computer sales is a result of currency devaluation and subsequent price increases, which are keeping people from upgrading their PCs. However, for 2016 and on, the expectations are that the currency impact will be weaker and sales will increase, returning to a 4% growth in 2017, led by wide adoption of Windows 10 among businesses.