Consumers in Developed Markets Will Own up to Four Devices Each by 2018, Gartner says

The average consumer in a mature market will own and use more than three personal devices by 2018, according to a recent report by Gartner.

The advisory company estimates that the installed base of devices will total 7.8 billion units (including wearables, phones, tablets and PCs) in 2016 and is on pace to reach 8.3 billion units in 2018. During the next five years, consumers will add more devices to their personal portfolio rather than consolidate it, experts say.

Gartner expects mature market users to use three to four personal devices from a mix of “main” and “niche” devices. Main devices will include smartphones, tablets, convertibles (two-in-one devices) and notebooks, and will contribute to more than two devices per person at any time. Niche devices will include a growing range of wearables such as smart watches, health bands, smart glasses and new types of connected devices such as smart cards, e-readers and portable cameras.

“The smartphone market will become more fluid and will allow new players to enter it,” says Gartner’s principal research analyst, CK Lu.. “The entrance of Chinese Internet companies will put further pressure on traditional smartphone vendors, who will be forced to innovate beyond hardware in order to stay in the game.” 

Gartner also estimates that the number of wearables in use next year will rise 20 percent from this year to 740 million. Wearables are set to reach 1.1 billion units by 2019. By 2019, the company expects that more than 60 percent of total PC installed base will be on Windows 10.

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2015, a 1.5 percent increase from 2014 and down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 2.8 percent growth.

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