Gartner expects global device shipments in 2015 to increase by 1.5 per cent over last year, after cutting its earlier forecast (delivered in March) which indicated a 2.8 per cent growth.
The company however maintained that 2.5 billion devices – comprising PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones – will still be shipped by the end of the year, in line with its first forecast, with end user spending expected to total $606 billion.
Growth will mainly come from mobile phones, where prices continue to fall, showing a “slowing” total of 3.3 per cent growth this year.
However, Gartner warned that China, which continues to lead the way for emerging markets, is now beginning to show signs of saturation and slowing growth.
“We have witnessed fewer and fewer first time buyers in China, a sign that the mobile phone market there is reaching saturation,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner.
Just last week, high growth Chinese handset maker Xiaomi made its first moves outside of Asia, after announcing plans to launch its low cost smartphones in Brazil.
Gartner said the forecast cut was partly due to a continued slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan, where “price increases resulted from local currency devaluation against the dollar”, according to Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
The global PC market is forecast to reach a total of 300 million shipments, a decline of 4.5 per cent year on year, and Atwal said he does not expect the PC market to recover until 2016.
“The release of Windows 10 later this month will contribute to a slowing professional demand for mobile PCs and premium ultramobiles in 2015, as lifetimes extend by three months,” said Atwal. “However, as suppliers and buyers adjust to new prices, Windows 10 could boost replacements during 2016.”
The tablet market is also set to decline, and will account for 207 million units, a 5.9 per cent decline from 2014.
According to Gartner research director Roberta Cozza, there is “little innovation” in the tablet market to encourage new purchases.
“The tablet has become a ‘nice to have’ device, and there is no real need for an upgrade as regularly as a phone,” she said.