After suffering a decline of three percent in 2017, global shipments of devices including PCs, tablets and mobile phones are forecast to return to growth (at over 1.3 percent) in 2018, market research firm Gartner said on Thursday.
While the performance of shipments of devices fluctuates Year-over-Year (YoY), end-user device spending continues to rise and is forecast to increase seven percent in 2018.
"Driven by better specifications despite increasing costs, average selling points (ASPs) for devices rose by 9.1 percent in 2017 and this trend will continue through this year, where we expect prices will increase by 5.6 percent," Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.
Despite PC prices increasing 4.6 percent in 2018, driven by business buying, the PC market unit demand is stabilising, Gartner said.
The traditional PC market will decline 3.9 percent in units in 2018 and is expected to decline a further 3.6 percent during 2019.
Gartner predicted that mobile phone lifetimes will increase from 2017 through 2020.
"Premium phone lifetimes are expected to increase the most in the near-term, as users look to hold onto these devices due to a lack of new technology impact, thus, prohibiting upgrades," said Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner.
Future AI capabilities, including natural-language processing and machine perception (reading all sensors), will allow smartphones to learn, plan and solve problems for users.
"This is not just about making the smartphone smarter, but augmenting users by reducing their cognitive load and enabling a 'Digital Me' that sits on the device," Gupta added.