Another Great Technology Goal Achieved
Thirty years have passed since, in the mid 1980's, Bill Gates set the goal of "A PC in every house and on every desk."
Not only has that goal been achieved, but something that was only featured in science fiction films-hand held computing devices-has likewise reached the goal of being in every home and carried by every person.
Gartner has reported that the sales of mobile phones, as well as PCs and other computing devices, will actually see their first decline in sales this year.
The reason-global saturation, stagnant economc growth, coupled with few new and ground breaking phone models released in the first quarters of this year.
Right now, the markets of North America, Western Europe, and Japan have reached 90 percent penetration.
This saturation of the mature market will slow future growth. For the mature market, continued and increasing sales depends upon phones with additional features.
As if to answer on queue, Apple has a new set of phones released recently, as does Samsung, and Google is even entering the cell phone sales market.
In the mature markets, we often trade in our phones at the end of our contracts and give little thought to what happens to those "obsolete" phones.
Truth is, they are processed, memories cleared, refurbished as needed, and resold, often to third world countries.
There are countless stories of fishermen in the third world, using "obsolete" cell phones to identify which village will pay them the most for their freshly caught fish.
As a result of second and third hand cell phone sales coupled with a global distribution network, cell phone ownership has reached near global saturation levels.
This then starts the process for those individuals in developing countries to start down the path of upgrading their older models with new phones.
The best geographic markets for future growth are India and China, with China representing 95% of all mobile phone sales last year.
With the combination of growth in India and China, coupled with the release of several new models, Gartner does predict that phone and PC sales will increase in 2017.