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  Business   Smartphone sales to slow down globally, except India: Gartner

Smartphone sales to slow down globally, except India: Gartner

Published : Mar 31, 2016, 5:32 pm IST
Updated : Mar 31, 2016, 5:32 pm IST

The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end.

Representational Image.
 Representational Image.

The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end.

New Delhi:

Global smartphone sales may grow just seven per cent this year to 1.5 billion units as demand in China and North America remains flat but markets like India could be an exception, research firm Gartner said today. The total mobile phone market is forecast to reach 1.9 billion units in 2016.

"The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end. Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case," Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal said in a report.

China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent growth, respectively, he added. However, countries like India will help generate new mobile phone user growth, Gartner said. Sales of smartphones in India is on pace to reach 29 per cent growth in 2016 and continue to exhibit double-digit growth in the next two years, it added.

Gartner forecasts that through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging Asia-Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.

"Prices did not decline enough to drive upgrades from low-end feature phones to low-end smartphones. Vendors were not able to reduce the price of a 'good enough to use' smartphone lower than USD 50," Gartner Research Director Annette Zimmermann said.

The report said combined shipment for devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) globally is expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2016, a 0.6 per cent increase from 2015. Global PC shipment is expected to total 284 million units in 2016, a decline of 1.5 per cent year over year as traditional PC sales may decline 6.7 per cent this year.

"In 2016, the PC market will reach its last year of decline before returning to growth in 2017. The biggest challenge, and potential benefit for the PC market, is the integration of Windows 10 with Intel's Skylake architecture," Atwal said.

However, to draw their interest, PC manufacturers need to ensure that they meet demand with the right products at the right price, Atwal added. Demand for ultramobiles (basic and utility tablets) will continue to weaken, with a decline of 3.4 per cent in 2016, Gartner said. Users are not only extending lifetimes, but also some will fail to replace these devices at all through 2016, it added.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi