The global mobile phone shipments will continue to slow down in 2016, says Gartner. The research firm has estimated a decline rate of 1.6% in 2016.
Commenting on the trend, Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner said, “This is no surprise; the smartphone market is maturing, and reaching global saturation with phones that are increasingly capable and remain good enough for longer.”
According to Gartner, the Chinese vendors will boost the Android market by offering more affordable premium devices. Despite the availability of iPhone 7, Apple may not present an impressive performance in 2016, as volumes stabilize after a very strong 2015. As a result, Gartner expects total smartphone market to only increase 4.5% with premium smartphones declining 1.1% in 2016.
“We expect the market for premium smartphones to return to 3.5% growth in 2017, as stronger replacement cycles kick in and in anticipation of a new iPhone next year, which is expected to offer a new design and new features that are attractive enough to convince more replacement buyers,” said Ms. Cozza.
Analyzing the shipments of combined devices, including the personal computers, tablets, ultramobile and mobile phones, Gartner has estimated a decrease of 3%. This is the second consecutive fall forecasted. In 2015, the global devices market fell by 0.75%.
“The global devices market is not on pace to return to single-digit growth soon,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. Growth is on pace to remain flat during the next five years. All segments are expected to decline in 2016, except for premium ultramobile and utility mobile phones (entry level phones), which are expected to show single-digit growth this year.
Desk-based PCs and notebook shipments are expected to decline from 244 million in 2015 to 216 million units in 2016. It will further decline to 205 million in 2017 and 199 million units in 2018, according to Gartner.
“We expect premium ultramobiles will start benefiting from the collective performance and integration of the latest Intel CPU platform and Windows 10,” added Mr. Atwal. Ultramobiles premium, including the products like Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Apple’s MacBook Air, is forecasted to gain pace with shipments growing from 44 million units in 2015 to 49 million units this year; further to 61 million in 2017 and 75 million units 2018.
The shipment of basic and utility tablets, comprising of devices like iPad, iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 and Acer Iconia One, is projected to fall from 196 million units in 2015 to 177 million this year and further to 173 million in 2017 and remain at 173 million in 2018.