Australian device shipments expected to decline in 2023

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Mobile phone shipments in Australia shrank 0.4 per cent in 2022, and Gartner predicts a further decline of 3.6 per cent in 2023, the analysts said in a new report.

Australian shipments of mobile phones are expected to drop from 7,135,000 in 2022 to 6,877,000 in 2023, down more than a quarter million.

Similarly, Gartner forecasts worldwide smartphone shipments to decline 4 per cent in 2023.

Smartphone shipments are projected to total 1.23 billion units in 2023, down from 1.28 billion units in 2022.

The reason for less mobile phone shipments is because “consumers are holding onto their phones longer than expected, from six to nine months, and moving away from fixed to flexible contracts in the absence of meaningful new technology,” Gartner senior director analyst Ranjit Atwal said.

He said that end-user spending on mobile phones is projected to decline 3.8 per cent in 2023, and that “vendors are passing on inflationary component costs to users which is dampening demand further.”

Tablet shipments in Australia, including Android and iOS, are also expected to decline.

Shipments went down 6.6 per cent in 2022, and Gartner expects a further decline of 0.9 per cent in 2023, from 4,236,000 to 4,198,000 shipments.

On a more positive note, Gartner forecasts PC shipments in Australia will increase by 2.6 per cent in 2023, after seeing a decline of 5.8 per cent in 2022, increasing from 5,247,000 shipments last year to 5,381,000 this year.

Global PC shipments however are set to see the worst decline of all device segments in 2023, expecting to decline 6.8 per cent, after a 16 per cent decline in 2022.

Throughout 2023, PC vendors are expected to reduce inventory levels after the significant increase in 2022.

Atwal commented that “inventory levels increased due to vendors overestimating market demand and because of the collapse in consumer confidence and dramatic fall in demand.”

Overall in Australia, Gartner has predicted a single percentage point average decrease in PC, tablet and mobile device shipments within Australia in 2023, following a 3.8 per cent decline in 2022.

However, global device shipments are projected to decline 4.4 per cent in 2023, to 1.7 billion units, following an 11.9 per cent decline in 2022.

Atwal said this decrease in device shipments is the result of "the depressed economic market" which "will continue to dampen demand for devices throughout 2023.

"In fact, end-user spending on devices is projected to decline 5.1 per cent in 2023,” Atwal added.

“Just as business confidence was beginning to recover after the worst of the pandemic, it has now fallen significantly in most regions."

"We do not expect relief from inflation and the bottom of the recession to occur until the fourth quarter of 2023,” he said.

Gartner has predicted that the downward trend affecting the devices market will lessen in 2023 compared to 2022, due to a less negative economic outlook, meaning the eventual increase in consumer and business spending.

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