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Bleak outlook for worldwide PC market

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Despite a return to growth in 2019, worldwide PC shipments are still forecast to decline in 2020 and beyond.

So says market analyst firm Gartner, noting that through 2020, this market will be affected by the end of the migration to Windows 10.

After three years of growth in the professional PC market, replacement levels will decrease, Gartner predicts.

However, there will be opportunities for professional PC replacements through 2020. The Chinese government launched the locally manufactured “secure and reliable PC” initiative, which stalled in 2019, but such initiatives should gain momentum in 2020, it adds.

“The PC market’s future is unpredictable because there will not be a Windows 11. Instead, Windows 10 will be upgraded systematically through regular updates,” says Ranjit Atwal, research senior director at Gartner. “As a result, peaks in PC hardware upgrade cycles driven by an entire Windows OS upgrade will end.”

Turning to worldwide device shipments, which include PCs, tablets and mobile phones, Gartner forecasts growth of 0.9% in 2020.

Overall, shipment of devices will total 2.16 billion units in 2020, up slightly from last year’s total of 2.15 billion units.

“2020 will witness a slight market recovery,” notes Atwal. “The market totalled 2.15 billion units, its lowest shipment level since 2010. 2020, however, will see a slight recovery. Increased availability of 5G handsets will boost mobile phone replacements, which will lead global device shipments to return to growth in 2020.

“The worldwide mobile phone market is on course to grow by 1.7% in 2020. Shipments of smartphones were weak in 2019, recording a 2% decline year-over-year, but are expected to grow in 2020, particularly in Greater China and emerging markets in Asia/Pacific.”

Furthermore, Atwal reveals Gartner estimates 5G models will account for 12% of mobile phone shipments in 2020, and will reach 43% by 2022.

“From 2020, Gartner expects an increase in 5G phone adoption as prices decrease, 5G service coverage increases and users have better experiences with 5G phones. The market will experience a further increase in 2023, when 5G handsets will account for over 50% of the mobile phones shipped,” he states.

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