Gartner: global device shipments to remain flat until 2018

Worldwide combined shipments of personal computers (PCs), tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones are projected to remain flat in 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide shipments for these devices are projected to total 2.3 billion in 2017, the same as 2016 estimates, adds the research group.

There were nearly seven billion phones, tablets and PCs in use in the world by the end of 2016. However, Gartner doesn’t expect any growth in shipments of traditional devices until 2018, when a small increase in ultramobiles (a category in which Gartner includes the MacBook Air and 12-inch MacBook) and mobile phone shipments is expected. 

"The global devices market is stagnating. Mobile phone shipments are only growing in emerging Asia/Pacific markets, and the PC market is just reaching the bottom of its decline," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

"As well as declining shipment growth for traditional devices, average selling prices are also beginning to stagnate because of market saturation and a slower rate of innovation," adds Atwal. "Consumers have fewer reasons to upgrade or buy traditional devices. They are seeking fresher experiences and applications in emerging categories such as head mounted displays (HMDs), virtual personal assistant (VPA) speakers and wearables.”

Can Apple buck this trend? If it returns to its innovative ways, I think it can. If it continues to ignore the Mac and show a cohesive vision for its entire ecosystem, probably not.