Research firm Gartner is expecting 2016 to be a down year for shipments of mobile phones. The number of mobile phones in transit during the year are expected to decline by 1.6%. If the forecast comes true, it will be the second consecutive year of lower shipments in the industry. Last year. mobile phone deliveries declined by .75% from the prior year.
Gartner expects mobile phone shipments to return to positive growth in 2017. Gartner sees mobile phone shipments rising 1.2% in 2017 to 1.9 billion units from the 1.89 billion expected to be delivered this year. In 2018, mobile phone shipments are estimated to rise 1.2% to 1.93 million handsets.
Android shipments will be helped by Chinese made handsets that offer high specs at a value price. Apple will report a year-over-year decline in iPhone deliveries this year, leading to a 1.1% drop in premium smartphone shipments in 2016. Premium models will return to growth in 2017 according to Gartner, with a estimated 3.5% hike in such deliveries next year attributed to a pick up in the replacement cycle.
Tablet shipments are expected to continue to decline. This year, shipments of these slates are expected to add up to 177 million units, a 9.7% drop from the 196 million shipped in 2015. Next year, Gartner expects a smaller decline of 2.3% to 173 million tablets shipped. 2018 will be a flat year, according to Gartner, possibly foreshadowing a return to growth ion 2019.