People may be holding off purchases of PCs, tablets and phones in the new year, as they seek new experiences instead of simply the latest hardware shown off by manufacturers, predicted Gartner this week.
The research firm expects worldwide shipments of these devices to stagnate in the months ahead, with the estimated 2.3 billion units shipped similar to that in 2016.
Traditional devices such as Windows PCs and laptops are not expected to ramp up in the new year, while a small increase in ultramobiles such as tablets, as well as mobile phones, will not be able to boost a flat market, it said.
“The global devices market is stagnating. Mobile phone shipments are only growing in emerging Asia-Pacific markets, and the PC market is just reaching the bottom of its decline,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
Traditional devices are not appealing enough to induce consumers to upgrade, he noted. “They are seeking fresher experiences and applications in emerging categories such as head mounted displays, virtual personal assistant speakers and wearables.”
Hardware providers will have to partner with service providers, as they lack the expertise to deliver the services themselves, he said.
Along with the rest of the device market, the PC segment is expected to return to growth in 2018, Gartner predicted, as a replacement cycle prompts users to purchase new machines.
Increasingly, attractive premium ultramobile prices and functionality will entice buyers as traditional PC sales continue to decline, it said in a report released on Thursday.