It’s no surprise that smartphone sales are going through a tough period as OEMs juggle between offering great products at a budget price and customary premium ones at nonsensical costs. Things have been progressing slowly because OEMs weren’t able to pack any justified reasons for a customer to upgrade their handheld game last year. Providing more evidence upon it, a new Gartner report reveals that smartphone sales for the first time ever, have witnessed a single-digit growth.

Global smartphone shipments are estimated to reach 1.5 billion units, nearly a 7 percent increase from 2015. Moreover, the entire mobile phone market is predicted to stand at 1.9 billion units. The major cause for the slowdown has been the fact that vendors have not been able to drive the prices low enough for a ‘good enough to use‘ smartphone below $50 making it difficult for consumers still operating on feature phones to upgrade. Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging countries in Asia/Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.

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Providing an insider perspective, Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner commented that “The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end, Historically, worsening economic conditions had a negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent growth respectively.

While the growth in leading countries including China and North America saw absolutely imperceptible numbers, India continues to outcast increasing figures with 29 percent share in 2016. Combined worldwide shipments for all the devices ranging from PCs, tablets to mobile phones are expected to cross 2.4 Billion units, approximately 0.6 percent increase from 2015.

The PC market also suffered from a decline of 1.5 percent year over year. Traditional PCs too saw a downfall as shipments shrink by 6.7%. “In 2016, the PC market will reach its last year of decline before returning to growth in 2017,” said Mr. Atwal. “The biggest challenge and potential benefit for the PC market is the integration of Windows 10 with Intel’s Skylake architecture. It has the potential for new form factors with more attractive features.

Adding more on that, Gartner says to direct more interest, manufacturers will have to balance the product’s offerings with the right price. Tablets will keep getting makeovers to impress as both consumers and businesses review new form factors.


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Shubham is based out of Ahmedabad, India and is studying to be a Computer Engineer, while specializing in mobile applications. He loves covering what's new in the smartphone space and aims to make it his primary profession some day.