Personal computer (PC) vendors are eyeing up the smartphone market to offset a slump in computer sales, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner says that worldwide smartphone sales will grow by 29% year-over-year to reach 180 million units in 2009, overtaking notebooks in total unit terms.
According to Gartner, smartphones account for 14% of overall mobile device sales, but Gartner expects by 2012 they will make up around 37% of global handset sales. Smartphone revenue is forecast to reach US$191 billion by 2012, higher than end user spending on mobile PCs, which is forecast to reach $152 billion in 2012. From 2009, user spending on smartphones will start to surpass the forecast for consumer notebooks.
According to Gartner, PC vendors' cumulative share (Apple excluded) of the smartphone market has been static at less than 1 per cent for years. By the end of 2009, Gartner expects that all major PC vendors will have announced their aim to have a presence in the smartphone market. However, Gartner does not expect the share of any single PC vendor to rise above 2% in the smartphone market during the next three years.
Gartner has identified five main challenges PC vendors will face when entering the smartphone market:
1. Smartphones are not "cut-down" versions of mobile PCs. Technical specifications are less important.
2. The distribution channel for mobile phones is controlled largely by mobile operators.
3. Brand and user experience are significant differentiators for mobile handsets.
4. Handset vendors are set to dominate the market for mobile internet devices (MIDs) due to their better understanding of internet usage behaviour.
5. Consumerisation opens the door to consumer smartphones in the organisation – it’s not the IT manager who makes the decision.
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