'Mature markets prefer mid-tier premium mobiles,emerging low-end'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 2 2014, 00:27am hrs
As global market for devices like handsets and tablets undergo a change due to shifting consumer behaviour, research firm Gartner today said buyers in mature markets now prefer mid-range premium handsets, while those in emerging markets are opting for low-end Android smartphones.

The firm added that consumers are shifting towards "lower cost and more basic devices".

The devices market (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones and tablets) is forecast to return to growth in 2014, with worldwide spending of USD 689 billion, a 4.4 per cent rise from 2013, Gartner said in a statement.

"However, in top-line spending, a shift in the product mix continues to be seen in the marketplace. Demand for highly priced premium phones is slowing, with buyers in mature countries preferring mid-tier premium phones, while those in emerging countries favour low-end Android basic phones," it added.

According to Gartner's projections, global devices shipments are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 6.9 per cent increase from 2013. Such shipments grew 4.8 per cent in 2013.

On global IT spending, the research firm said it is on pace to total USD 3.8 trillion in 2014, a 3.2 per cent rise from 2013 spending.

Globally, businesses are shaking off their malaise and returning to spending on IT to support the growth of their business, Gartner Managing VP Richard Gordon said.

"Consumers will be purchasing many new devices in 2014, however, there is a greater substitution toward lower cost and more basic devices than we have seen in prior years," he added.

Gartner indicated that the number of traditional PC users is contracting to a set of fewer, albeit more engaged, users.

"In general, consumers are opting to buy premium ultramobiles as notebook replacements and purchasing tablets as additional devices," it added.

As market power shifts to the buyer, and key product innovations become ubiquitous, product pricing is becoming the primary differentiator, the firm said.