The smartphone market’s been growing by leaps and bounds for the past decade, but not everything lasts forever, and while we’re going to keep on using smartphones for a good long while, the sort of growth the market’s experienced isn’t necessarily so sustainable. We’ve already heard scattered reports that some big-name OEMs could be facing cooling shopper interest for their 2016 lineup, and now a new Gartner report suggests those warnings might be right on the money, as we look forward to a year where shoppers spend less on new phones than they did in years past.
Despite the prediction that spending’s on the decline, overall shipments are expected to be slightly up. Read between the lines there, and this analysis seems to support the idea that high-end expensive flagships are losing favor, and shoppers are looking to pick up more affordable handsets in the coming year.
Other market segments covered by this report include PCs, which should see sales recover in 2017 following a small dip this year, and convertible tablets (of the Windows 10 variety), becoming the hot item form factor that will drive sales.
For companies banking on sales of just a few flagship-level models, that forecast spells bad news, though we’ve already heard about efforts by some (and specifically, Apple) to release new slightly-more-affordable designs in the coming months. We’ll have to see how all that goes, but the era of year-after-year smartphone growth may be winding to a close.