New Delhi: Global shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones are expected to decline marginally by 0.3% to over 2.32 billion units in 2017 compared to last year, research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

The market is forecast to return to growth in 2018 with a 1.6% increase in shipments to 2.36 billion units, Gartner said in a report.

Computer shipments are expected to decline to 262 million units in 2017 compared to 270 million units last year. The PC market is expected to revert to the growth path with shipment of 267 million units in 2018. Mobile phone market, on the other hand, is expected to see steady growth. From 1.89 billion units in 2016, the segment is expected to rise to 1.9 billion this year and further to 1.93 billion in 2018.

“Overall, the shipment growth of the device market is steady for the first time in many years," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said.

PC shipments are slightly lower, while smartphone shipments are slightly higher — leading to a slight downward revision in shipments from the previous forecast, he added.

Also, the “basic" smartphone market is expected to record 686 million shipments in 2017, up 6.8% from 2016. “Consumers have already accepted the greater value attained from the better capabilities of basic smartphones, compared to low-end utility devices," Gartner research director Roberta Cozza said. Therefore, the average selling prices of mid- and high- range smartphones continue to increase, she added.

“The Chinese players currently pushing basic smartphones with premium feel and features into the market will continue to strengthen the shift away from low-end utility phones toward basic smartphones," she said.