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The worldwide PC market is expected to rebound in 2018, contrary to the misconception that the world has gone mobile and relies solely on smartphones.
According to technology research company Gartner, business PC shipments are expected to grow by 0.8% in 2018, thanks to faster Windows 10 replacements in many regions, particularly in Western Europe.
“Despite the fact that prices have been rising due to higher component costs, Windows 10 replacements have kept the PC market relatively stable through 2017,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
Atwal attributed the upward trend to the growing PC market in Russia, where business spending on PCs is expected to increase by 5% in 2017.
This rise in spending – which is primarily focused on desktop PCs that are more aggressively priced than laptops and hybrid devices – will continue in 2018, according to Gartner.
Although organisations in China have been delaying their Windows 10 migrations due to security and privacy issues, leading to slower PC sales in 2017, the country is expected to contribute to global PC shipments in 2018.
That is because Microsoft is now working with a Chinese government agency to develop a government-approved version. A handful of organisations, including China Customs and the state-owned Westone Information Technology, are currently testing the software.
“The features of Windows 10 could be particularly useful for the Chinese government, which is looking to move from desktops and notebooks to ultramobile premium devices,” said Atwal. “We expect this development to positively affect the PC market in 2018.”
Citing the results of an online user survey, Atwal said 40% of respondents mostly use a PC or tablet for daily tasks such as reading and writing detailed e-mails or watching videos, while 34% mostly use a smartphone while on the move.
That said, the demand for smartphones is not letting up. According to Gartner, smartphone sales will account for 86% of total mobile phone shipments in 2018, up 6% from 2017. Component shortages, however, could push smartphones sales from the typically strong fourth quarter to 2018.