Global device shipments will decline 3% in 2019
The trend for lengthening mobile phone life span began in 2018 and will continue through 2019. Gartner predicts that high-end phone life span will increase from 2.6 years to nearly 2.9 years through 2023. Gartner estimates that sales of smartphones will decline by 2.5% in 2019, which would be the worst decline ever.
Earlier this year, mobile operators launched 5G services in parts of the U.S., South Korea, Switzerland, Finland and the U.K., but it will take time for carriers to expand 5G coverage beyond major cities.
By 2020, Gartner estimates that 7% of global communications service providers will have a commercially viable wireless 5G service. This will mark significant progress from 5G proofs of concept and commercial network construction work in 2018.
In the first half of 2019, several phone manufacturers released 5G-enabled smartphones. To improve slowing smartphone sales, mobile manufacturers are looking to introduce more affordable 5G-enabled phones in 2020.
While worldwide PC shipments totaled 63 million units and grew 1.5% in the second quarter of 2019, there is still uncertainty for PC demand in 2019. PC shipments are estimated to total 257 million units in 2019, a 1% decline from 2018.
Following a strong Windows 10 migration among businesses in the second quarter of 2019, Gartner analysts maintain that 75% of the business PC installed base will have migrated to Windows 10 by the beginning of 2021. ■