Gartner: Reduced disposable income to impact worldwide demand for mobile tech
STAMFORD — Global shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are on pace to decrease 14 percent this year to about 1.9 billion units, according to a new forecast by Stamford-based IT consulting and research firm Gartner.
Mobile phones would see the largest falloff, with their shipments predicted to decline about 15 percent to 1.5 billion units. PC shipments are expected to drop 10 percent to 235 million. Deliveries of basic and utility “ultramobiles,” which include tablets and Google Chromebook computers, would fall 7 percent to 133 million.
“While users have increased the use of their mobile phones to communicate with colleagues, work partners, friends and families during lockdowns, reduced disposable income will result in fewer consumers upgrading their phones,” Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, said in a statement.
Affordable 5G phones had been expected to catalyze more phone replacements, but those types of phones are now projected to account for only 11 percent of mobile phone shipments in 2020.
“The delayed delivery of some 5G flagship phones is an ongoing issue,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. “Moreover, the lack of 5G geographical coverage along with the increasing cost of the 5G phone contract will impact the choice of a 5G phone.”
Amid the declines, the surge in working from home will probably reshape demand. Gartner projects that 48 percent of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, compared with 30 percent before the crisis.
“The forecasted decline in the PC market in particular could have been much worse,” Atwal said. “However, government lockdowns due to COVID-19 forced businesses and schools to enable millions of people to work from home and increase spending on new notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets for those workers. Education and government establishments also increased spending on those devices to facilitate e-learning.”
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