PC shipments to see flat growth due to price rise: Gartner

Increasing personal computer prices would lead to flat growth of global device shipments in 2018, said IT research firm Gartner in a report. Worldwide shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — are likely to record 0.9% growth to reach 2.28 billion units in 2018.
While the PC and tablet market is estimated to decline 1.2% in 2018; the mobile phone market is on pace to record an increase of 1.4% to 1.86 billion units, said Gartner in the report.
A rise in price of PCs is attributed to under-supply of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM)owing to the lack of new wafer capacity. “As a result, PC vendors will continue to increase their prices throughout 2018. Larger screens and more graphic boards also mean rising costs, adding to the bill of hardware materials for businesses and household buyers,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
The report also highlighted that at a time when the PC market is price-sensitive, business demand is migrating to high-end PCs such as ultra-mobile premium devices that generate higher value. Gartner estimates shipments of ultra-mobile premium units to increase by 12% in 2018.
According to Gartner, the end of Windows 7 adoption in January 2020 will mark the next major shift in the PC market. “It is becoming paramount for businesses to migrate to Windows 10 as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of 2019,” added Atwal.
While North America kicked off the first Windows 10 migration phase in 2015 and likely to complete in 2019; Western Europe is increasing its adoption in 2018. China, Japan and other emerging regions, migration plans are shifting from 2018 to 2019 since they continue to prepare for “inherent complications in changing process and procedures for Windows as a service”, said Gartner.
The global device market is also likely to be influenced by certain trends in China.
Apart from the macro-economic factors and technology developments, the market foresees an “influence by the Chinese device market alone”. In China, mobile phone sales, which is main influencer of the global device market growth, declined 8.7% in 2017 to 428 million units, but are estimated to grow 3.3% in 2018, representing 23% of total mobile phone sales this year.
The traditional PC market in China is expected to dip 1.7% to 38.5 million shipments in 2018, representing 21% of global traditional PC shipments.

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