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By 31 January 2018 | Categories: news

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If you’re in retail the following info from industry analysts Gartner might be of interest. They believe that the worldwide shipment of devices, which includes PCs, tables and mobile phones, will increase by 2.1%, from 2.28 billion units in 2017 to 2.31 billion in 2018.

The growth will be driven by two factors - mobile phones and the ultraportable notebook market. Mobile phone shipments seem to be a trusty go-to and are set to grow 2.6% this year, with the high-end segment leading the charge. Smartphones sales specifically will grow with 6.2%, with Gartner noting that close to nine out of every ten phones sold will be a smartphone. Apple’s new models, expected later this year, will be popular as always and are set to outpace regular smartphone sales.

As to what customers can expect from manufacturers, put your money on “compelling personalised experiences” via on-device AI, virtual personal assistants and more natural user interfaces. Biometrics will also feature, and so too will improvements on displays and cameras.

5G might be something far off for South Africa, but it could be a reality in some countries, such as the US and South Korea, is 5G networks. Therefore, Gartner notes that by 2021, 9% of smartphones sold will be 5G enabled. We’ll of course see the first big smartphone unveilings take place at this year’s Mobile World Congress at the end of February in Barcelona.

Traditional PCs have not been a hot favourite for a long time, and the market will decline by a further 5.4% this year, while notebooks are going down by a steep 6.8%.  The cost of DRAM seems to be an hindrance, with costs now double  what it was in June 2016.

Gartner believes DRAM cost trends will continue into 2018, before it starts reversing. Luckily, it’s the ultramobile premium market that rescues the PC segment, growing from 70 million sold in 2017 to 80 million units this year.

While 2.1% growth is perhaps not as much as manufacturers and retailers might wish for, at least the market isn’t going backwards.

IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK

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