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Gartner: PC shipments slashed, worldwide device shipments set reach 2.5bn in 2015

Gartner has released its latest forecast, this time focusing on worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones. The shipments, according to the technology research house, will reach 2.5-billion units in 2015.

This is an increase of a 1.5% from 2014 and down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 2.8% growth.

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This estimate is however a 1.3% point drop from Gartner’s estimate in the last quarter. Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, says that this is due to the continued slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan.

What negatively impacted PC purchases in the first half of 2015 was also the migration from Windows XP.

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“PC vendors are increasingly reducing their inventory levels by at least five percent until the end of 2015 as a way to minimise pricing exposure in the channel” Gartner says.

By end of this year, PC shipment will not have improved. In fact, shipments are set to decline 4.5% year on year. Globally, the PC market is expected to total 300 million units in 2015.

“We do not expect the global PC market to recover until 2016,” said Atwal. “The release of Windows 10 on 29th July will contribute to a slowing professional demand for mobile PCs and premium ultramobiles in 2015, as lifetimes extend by three months. However, as suppliers and buyers adjust to new prices, Windows 10 could boost replacements during 2016.”

While PC shipments continue to suffer, the mobile phone market is thriving. Unlike PC purchases, mobile phones are getting cheaper and now more people can afford them. This growth, Gartner notes, is largely driven by emerging markets that are driving the smartphone market upward, with China leading the way.

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In 2015, the mobile phone market growth rate is expected to slow down to 3.3 per cent growth. China, Annette Zimmermann, researcher at Gartner, suggests is getting saturated, as there are not many first time buyers.

“Vendors in China will have to win replacement buyers and improve the appeal of their premium offerings to attract upgrades, if they want to maintain or increase their market share,” says Zimmermann.

Outside of China is where business is happening. Emerging markets are witnessing a sizeable share of feature phones and an opportunity for manufactures to exploit.

Ultramobile (tablets and clamshells) shipments are estimated to total 214 million units in 2015, a decline of 5.3 per cent year on year. Tablets will account for 207 million units, a decline of 5.9% cent from 2014.

The decline for tablets is caused by the increase in smartphones with big screens, screens that are 5 inches up. Tablets are also not equipped to deal with the selfie revolution that is currently going on. Their cameras are still not good quality, making buyers opt for smartphones instead.

According to the estimate end-user spending on devices will total US$606-billion in 2015. And this will be the first time that and will show, for the first time since 2010, a 5.7 per cent decline in current US dollars.

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