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Worldwide PC Market To Decline Amid Expected Price Increases

Worldwide PC Market To Decline Amid Expected Price IncreasesIn total, worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) is estimated to reach 2.5 billion units, an increase of 2.8 per cent year-on-year.

Adjusting for the impact of exchange rate movements, global computing devices spending is forecast to decrease 3.1 percent in 2015. The global PC market is expected to reach 306 million units, a 2.4 per cent decline year-on-year.

“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,” commented Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director.

“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 reach 1.9 billion units and grow 3.5 per cent this year.

Gartner stated cheaper smartphones will continue to appeal to consumers and counter the need to increase prices – while pricing has been increasing over the last few years, driven by a rising premium-phone average selling price, with the smartphone market reaching saturation over the next few years, Gartner expects it will remain flat or slightly down.

Ultramobile shipments, including tablets and clamshells, are forecast to reach 237 million units in 2015, a 4.3 per cent increase.

“Following rapid growth, the current mature consumer installed base for tablets is comparable to that of notebooks,” commented Gartner research director Roberta Cozza.

“Not only is the tablet segment nearing saturation in mature markets, but the influx of hybrids and phablets will compete directly with tablets in emerging markets.”  

Meanwhile, Gartner anticipates an increasing percentage of high-end Android device users will move to iOS.

“Android vendors at the high end are finding it hard to differentiate and add value beyond technology and features,” Cozza stated. “Furthermore, Apple’s brand clout and ecosystem – alongside the new large-screen iPhone models – are strong alternatives.

“We also estimate that, despite Apple’s premium price tags, the iOS base replacement cycle that started in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the larger iPhones will carry on into 2015.”