Global Smartphone Market Growth to Be Lowest Ever in 2016 - Gartner

 
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Global Smartphone Market Growth to Be Lowest Ever in 2016 - Gartner
Global smartphone sales are expected to grow in single digits in percentage terms for the first time ever and PC shipments are forecast to decline in 2016, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner said on Thursday it expected smartphone sales to grow only 7 percent to 1.5 billion units in 2016 from 2015, stunted by flat sales in the crucial China and North America markets.

"The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end," Ranjit Atwal, research director, was quoted as saying in Gartner's latest Devices Forecast findings.

The Stamford, Connecticut-headquartered firm said it expects worldwide shipments for PC's to decrease 1.5 percent from 2015, before returning to growth in 2017.

While the global smartphone market is set to see a decline this year, India, buoyed by aggressive smartphone launches and a huge consumer base, is likely to witness double-digit growth in 2016 as well as in the next two years, says a new report.

According to information technology research and advisory company Gartner, sales of smartphones in India will reach 29 percent in 2016 and will continue to exhibit double-digit growth in the next two years while the sales in China and North America will be flat.

Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging Asia/Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.

"Prices did not decline enough to drive upgrades from low-end feature phones to low-end smartphones," said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. "Vendors were not able to reduce the price of a 'good enough to use' smartphone lower than $50."

Although there will not be any significant increase in mobile growth in mature markets of North America, Western Europe, Japan and mature Asia/Pacific, Gartner analysts expect to see an extension of phone lifetimes among users.

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