This Year, Spending For Mobile Devices And PCs Will Decline For The First Time Since 2010
According to the latest forecast by research firm Gartner, it appears that this year, consumers will be buying less hardware products such as personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Yes, Gartner’s numbers indicate that the volume of end user sales will increase to 2.4 billion units this year, but the growth rate will be painfully slow -- only 1.9 percent compared to last year’s numbers. The research firm further predicts that spending on these types of devices will drop, the first time it has done so since 2010.
The drop in PC sales is pretty understandable. After all, more and more users nowadays prefer doing stuff like Internet surfing and online shopping via their mobile devices, instead of desktop computers. The numbers certainly support this, with the smartphone sales figures easily outpacing that of PCs.
Smartphones, however, are dealing with its own problems, with many industry watchers saying that the slump in sales that began last year will most certainly drag on this year. And it does not help that today’s mobile users seem to be perfectly content with going for basic smartphones as opposed to purchasing high end models. The result is that the overall spending for smartphones will likely decrease in 2016.
As explained by Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, much of the world’s mobile using population are happy with using basic models, and even those who are looking to replace their old handsets are actually choosing new basic smartphones still, not upgrading to better, higher priced options. This is especially true in the Chinese markets and also in emerging markets, like India for instance.
For sure, industry leaders like Samsung and Apple will continue to dominate the global smartphone industry. But the impact of the emergence of Chinese phone makers are now being felt. Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Huawei are quite fond of offering budget friendly smartphones with enough features that appeal to mobile users. The effect is that when people buy new handsets from these manufacturers, they basically are spending less. Indeed, iPhone devices are really cool and all, but having a less expensive Android smartphone that lets me surf the web and do social media is not bad at all, these mobile users seem to be saying.
Of course, it is not clear yet just how long the worldwide smartphone sales slump will last. Some are saying that what the industry needs to get out of the slump is a revolutionary leap in smartphone technology that would galvanize consumers into buying new smartphones again. That might be a lot to ask in 2016, which means that for the next twelve months, phone makers will have to prepare themselves and expect less opening up of wallets and swiping of credit cards from mobile users everywhere.