Increasing PC prices will lead to flat growth of global device shipments in 2018, says Gartner

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 11): Global shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — are on pace to record 0.9% growth to reach 2.28 billion units in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc.

In a statement today, Gartner said the PC and tablet market is estimated to decline 1.2% in 2018, while the mobile phone market is on pace to record an increase of 1.4%.

Gartner, Inc is a research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500.

Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said the PC market is still hindered by the undersupply of the DRAM market for all of 2018, due to the lack of new wafer capacity coming online.

“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,” he said.

Atwal said while the PC market is price-sensitive, Gartner is witnessing business demand migrating to high-end PCs such as ultramobile premium devices, where value is seen as higher.

Gartner estimates shipments of ultramobile premium units to increase by 12% in 2018.

Meanwhile, the company added that the next major shift in the PC market will be marked by the end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020.

"It is becoming paramount for businesses to migrate to Windows 10 as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of 2019," Atwal said.

He said North America kicked off the first Windows 10 migration phase in 2015 and will complete around 2019.

“Western Europe is increasing its adoption in 2018.

“However, in China, Japan and other emerging regions, migration plans are shifting from 2018 to 2019, as they continue to prepare for inherent complications in changing process and procedures for Windows as a service,” he said.

Commenting on China, Atwal said the traditional PC market in China is on pace to decline 1.7% to 38.5 million shipments in 2018, representing 21% of global traditional PC shipments.

The drop will come despite China being business-dependent, with two-thirds of PC shipments coming from this segment, he added.

"The downward trend that China is experiencing is undoubtedly affecting the worldwide device market.

"China is an interesting country to watch this year. The continued roll-out of a Chinese version of Windows 10 in the second half of 2018, as well as Apple iPhone's replacement cycle expected through 2019, will generate demand,” he said.