Global mobile phone sales are expected to drop 3.87 percent year-on-year to 1.74 billion units this year as consumers delay purchases, US market research firm Gartner Inc said in a press release.
In addition, sales of smartphones are forecast to decline by 3.2 percent this year, the worst decline ever, it said.
“This is due to consumers holding on to their phones longer, given the limited attraction of new technology,” Gartner senior research director Ranjit Atwal said in a statement.
“Unless the devices provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users do not necessarily want to upgrade their phones,” he said.
However, as major vendors turn to 5G technology to boost the replacement of 4G phones, the smartphone market is expected to return to growth of 2.9 percent next year, Gartner said.
New 5G-capable smartphones are expected to account for 10 percent of total sales next year and the figure is projected to climb to 56 percent by 2023, it said.
In Taiwan, most telecoms are focusing on the higher data transmission speed that 5G technology can bring, but low latency is another highlight, Gartner senior research analyst Lu Chun-kuan (呂俊寬) said.
Connecting mobile devices through cloud systems with other electronic devices, such as those running augmented-reality applications, would provide users with better experiences, Lu said.
Meanwhile, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall 1.54 percent year-on-year to 255.7 million units this year due to uncertainties related to the US-China trade dispute and Brexit, even though shipments grew 1.5 percent to 63 million units in the second quarter, Gartner said.
Next year, PC shipments are set to decline 2.35 percent to 249.7 million units due an increase in the lifetime of consumer PCs and the completion of the Windows 10 operating system upgrade for business PCs, it said.
Overall, global shipments of mobile phones, PCs and tablets are expected to decline 3.73 percent year-on-year to 2.13 billion units this year, before falling another 0.75 percent to 2.15 billion units next year, Gartner said.
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