As the lifetime of premium phones continued to extend through 2019, global sales of smartphones will decline by 3.2 percent this year, the worst decline the category has seen, according to a Gartner forecast on Thursday.

“This is due to consumers holding onto their phones longer, given the limited attraction of new technology,” Ranjit Atwal, Senior Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement. The study estimates that the share of 5G-capable phones will increase from 10 percent in 2020 to 56 percent by 2023.

The smartphone market will, however, return to the growth path at 2.9 percent in 2020, Gartner said. “To ensure smartphone sales pick up again, mobile providers are starting to emphasize 5G performance features, like faster speeds, improved network availability and enhanced security,” Atwal said.

As per the recent Gartner IoT forecast, the 5G endpoint install base will grow 14-fold between 2020 and 2023. It means from 3.5 million units to 48.6 million units. By 2028, the firm research firm estimates that the 5G install base will reach 324.1 million units.

Worldwide shipments of devices – PCs, tablets and mobile phones – will decline 3.7 percent, according to the latest forecast from Gartner. The worldwide PC shipments totaled 63 million units and grew 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2019. But due to unclear external economic issues, overall PC demand and shipments have seen 1.5 percent decline from 2018.

“There is no doubt the PC landscape is changing,” said Atwal. “The consumer PC market requires high-value products that can meet specific consumer tasks, such as gaming. Likewise, PC vendors are having to cope with uncertainty from potential tariffs and Brexit disruptions. Ultimately, they need to change their business models to one based on annual service income, rather than the peaks and troughs of capital spending.”

With Inputs from IANS