Device growth in 2020 will be spurred by 5G iPhones - Gartner

2020 could be the best year to buy a new smartphone or PC

Of course, Gartner's top analysts expect the status quo to be gradually altered, as the overall market share of 5G smartphones could rise from 12 percent in 2020 to as much as 43 percent "by 2022", and finally, more than 50 percent in 2023. According to Gartner, global device (PC, tablet, and smartphones) shipments will reach 2.16 billion units in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 0.9%. In the end, shipments of 2.15 billion units were registered in 2019, the lowest number since 2010.

The global device market is declining as a slower pace of technological development sees people keeping their existing devices longer.

"2020 will witness a slight market recovery", said Ranjit Atwal, research senior director at Gartner.

As a point of comparison, a year ago Gartner revised its 2019 numbers at least three times, starting from "flat shipments" and ending at almost four percent decline. However, smartphone shipments will grow in 2020, especially in Greater China and Asia Pacific emerging markets.

PC sales are also set to remain strong as consumer and businesses alike migrate away from Windows 7, which saw its official end of life this month, to newer, Windows 10 devices.

Gartner appears to have crunched its numbers again and reconsidered, noting shipments are forecast to decline in 2020 and beyond. Although smartphone owners are nowadays somewhat reluctant to upgrade while their devices are still working properly, the allure of 5G is likely to change that. "Instead, Windows 10 will be upgraded systematically through regular updates", writes Atwal "As a result, peaks in PC hardware upgrade cycles driven by an entire Windows OS upgrade will end". While there have been a number of aspiring smartwatches on the market, one of the biggest successes has been the Apple Watch, which in fact saw its growth outperform other hardware categories for the company in what was a hard year for the company.

From Gartner analysis, because there will be no Windows 11, the future prospects of the personal computer market is confusing. If that will continue, and you will potentially see others join, it will be an interesting area to "observe".

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