Gartner is forecasting that worldwide smartphone sales will return to growth in 2018, with the iPhone X a key factor in the U.S., China and Europe.

Mobile phone sales are expected to return to year-over-year growth in 2018, with shipments totaling 1.9 billion units. 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 …

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The firm says that component shortages are another factor, constraining sales in the current quarter, pushing some sales from Q4 2017 into next year.

Component yield rates are believed to be proving problematic for the iPhone X, with the 3D camera module said to be a production bottleneck – though a supply-chain report today claims that yield rates are now improving.

Gartner predicts that combined worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones will also see growth next year, total sales of 2.35B devices next year, 2% up on this year. However, this growth will be driven by mobile devices, with PCs expected to decline by 4.4%.

Research director Ranjit Atwal says that this shouldn’t be taken to mean that PCs are less relevant to today’s users, only that they are holding onto them for longer.

Forty percent of respondents said that they use mostly a PC/tablet for certain daily experiences, such as reading and writing detailed emails or watching videos, while 34 percent mostly use a smartphone for its convenience while on the move. Users holding onto their PCs for longer remains a major issue for the PC market. In contrast, users continue to replace their smartphone quite frequently.

Jony Ive recently said that while the iPhone X represented the achievement of his long-held ambition of a design which appears to be ‘a single slab of glass,’ it is only the beginning of a new chapter of iPhone development.

Photo: CNET


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