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March 19, 2015

Global device market to rise 2.8% in 2015

PC vendors to raise prices to save margins.

By Joao Lima

Estimated to reach 2.5 billion devices in 2015, computing device shipments worldwide are set to increase 2.8% compared to 2014.

However, spending on PCs, tablets, ultra-mobiles and mobile phones are set to decline 7.2%, falling from £164 billion last year down to £152 billion in 2015, according to a report by information technology research company Gartner.

The figures did not take into consideration the impact of exchange-rate movements.

2015 will mark a turnaround in spending and in the number of global PC devices being shipped, with both decreasing 3.1% and 2.4% respectively.

By 2016, the global PC market will soar 3.6% compared to this year, and in 2017 will have risen by 7% with over 327 billion units being shipped.

First seen in the early 70s, the mobile phone market is nowadays the biggest and most profitable sector within consumer tech devices.

The sector is expected to grow 3.5% this year totalling 1.9 billion devices. In 2016, the number of mobile phones being shipped will surpass the two billion mark.

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Gartner’s research also revealed that cheaper smartphones will keep attracting customers, countering the need to increase prices.

Furthermore, the company warns of market saturation in the next few years with average selling prices stagnating and even going slightly down in some cases.

Tablets and clamshells will total 237 billion devices, 4.3% more compared to 2014.

Gartner analysts also said that a shift in high-end Android devices to iOS is also expected.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said: "The fall in PC purchases is primarily due to expected price increases by vendors in Europe and other regions, which is forced by local currency depreciation against the dollar.

"The currency squeeze is forcing PC vendors to increase their prices in order to remain profitable and, as result, it is suppressing purchases. We expect businesses will delay purchases of new PCs, and consumers will delay or ‘de-feature’ their purchases. However, this reduction in purchasing is not a downturn, it is a reshaping of the market driven by currency."

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