Smartphone sales to reach 1.6 billion units in 2018: Gartner

Device shipments estimate for 2018Smartphone sales will touch more than 1.6 billion units in 2018, according to Gartner.

Mobile phone sales are expected to total 1.9 billion units in 2018. Smartphones will represent 86 percent of total mobile phone shipments in 2018, up 6 percent from 2017.

“We expect Apple’s iPhone X to be the sales driver in North America, China and Western Europe, despite its high price. Given the late November availability of the iPhone X, we expect the iPhone’s replacement cycle to flow more strongly into 2018,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

Gartner said component shortages could lead to the inability to meet smartphone demand in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The price of Mobile (LPDDR) DRAM products will grow 10-15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. This price increase is due to DRAM suppliers seeking to correct price differences among various applications as well as the year-end busy season in the global smartphone market, according to DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

Major DRAM suppliers will make limited contributions to the overall production capacity in 2018. Next year, DRAM manufacturers will increase outputs mainly by optimizing the process flows of their existing fabs and deploying the next-generation manufacturing technologies. Supply will be tight for all DRAM applications during much of 2018.

Gartner said decrease in mobile phone demand in 2017 is also expected to come from a weaker lower end of the smartphone market.

Local phone vendors will struggle against the shift toward top brands. Component price increases affect the ability of some Android vendors to compete more aggressively on price.

PC market

PC market including desk-based, notebook and ultramobiles will grow at 0.8 percent in 2018.

The PC market in Russia will grow by 5 percent in 2017 and this growth will continue in 2018 due to favorable economy conditions. China will also contribute to the growth of global PC demand next year, according to Gartner.

China’s move to Windows 10 has been delayed due to security and privacy issues, leading to slow PC sales in 2017. Microsoft is working with a Chinese government agency to develop a government-approved version.

Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2.0 percent from 2017, according to Gartner.