​Global device shipments to grow, but PC spend to decline: Gartner

Even though Gartner has predicted that worldwide computing device market spend will decline by 7.2 percent in 2015, worldwide combined shipment levels will not be affected.

Worldwide combined shipments of PCs, "ultramobiles", and mobile phones are expected to grow by 2.8 percent from 2.42 billion units in 2014 to 2.9 billion units in 2015, according to Gartner's latest findings.

However, looking at worldwide spending on the computing devices market, which includes PCs and ultramobiles, such as phablets, it is expected to decline by 7.2 percent, and reach only $226 billion.

Gartner suggested that the global PC market, which makes up a majority of the computing devices market, is expected to see a 2.4 percent decline from $193 billion in 2014 to $178 billion in 2015.

Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said price increases by vendors in regions outside of the US are the primary reason why the market will see a fall in PC purchases.

"The currency squeeze is forcing PC vendors to increase their prices in order to remain profitable and, as result, it is suppressing purchases," he said.

"We expect businesses will delay purchases of new PCs, and consumers will delay or 'de-feature' their purchases. However, this reduction in purchasing is not a downturn; it is a reshaping of the market driven by currency."

Meanwhile, the mobile phone market, which makes up the majority share of the combined devices market, is expected to total 1.9 billion units in 2015, a 3.5 percent growth from last year, Gartner said.

Gartner said the growing presence of cheaper smartphones is expected to continue to play a driving role in the growth of the mobile phone market, countering the need for price increases as the smartphone market reaches saturation over the next few years.

"Consumers will continue to prioritise spending on phones over PCs and tablets in 2015," said Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director.

Gartner has also predicted that the market will see more high-end Android device users shift to iOS.

Last September, Apple announced the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and more than 10 million were sold in the first weekend of release.

"Android vendors at the high end are finding it hard to differentiate and add value beyond technology and features," Cozza said.

"Furthermore, Apple's brand clout and ecosystem -- alongside the new large-screen iPhone models -- are strong alternatives.

"We also estimate that despite Apple's premium price tags, the iOS base replacement cycle that started in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the larger iPhones will carry on into 2015."

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