Smartphone shipment to grow 5% globally in 2017: Gartner

05 July, New Delhi

Buoyed by a shift in consumers’ habits towards higher-priced premium smartphones, the overall smartphone shipment is expected to grow 5 per cent this year despite a slight decline in overall device shipment, Gartner forecast on Wednesday.

PCs, tablets and smartphones are projected to be shipped over 2.3 billion units in 2017 — a 0.3 per cent decline from 2016.

Despite this falling trend, the overall smartphone shipment is expected to reach nearly 1.6 billion units in 2017 as end-users’ spending inclines towards premium devices like Apple iPad and iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, Amazon Fire HD, Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 and Acer Iconia One.

“The Samsung S8 and S8 Plus have had a strong impact so far in 2017, with users undeterred by battery issues that affected the Note 7 at the end of 2016. This good start points to a rebound for Samsung,” said Roberta Cozza, Research Director, Gartner, in a statement.

“Continued premium smartphone growth in 2017 will also be highly dependent on the forthcoming anniversary edition of Apple’s iPhone, which should bring more drastic feature and design upgrades than the last few iterations,” Cozza added.

The decline majorly owes to the PC shipment which is set to drop 3 per cent alleviated by Windows 10 replacement purchasing.

“PC buyers continue to put quality and functionality ahead of price,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director, Gartner.

“Many organisations are coming to the end of their evaluation periods for Windows 10, and are now increasing the speed at which they adopt new PCs as they see the clear benefits of better security and newer hardware,” he added.

Though the vendors are trying to add new capabilities to give their products an edge in the market, many new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) may not have any revolutionary impact in early iterations.

“Today, the user experience with new technologies such as AI and VPAs is too often below the standard found in the rest of the device, and the cost to raise the standard quickly is prohibitive, relative to the benefits,” noted Atwal.

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