Global smartphone shipments to grow in 2020: IDC reports

Thursday, 05 December, 2019

Global smartphone shipments to grow in 2020: IDC reports

Global smartphone shipments are expected to return to growth in 2020 after a three-year slump, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The worldwide smartphone market is projected to grow 1.5% to 1.4 billion shipments next year, with 5G smartphones expected to account for 14% of all smartphones shipped, IDC said.

The positive forecast comes in light of “aggressive activity from the smartphone supply chain and [original equipment manufacturers] OEMs” and China’s “ambitious 5G plans”, IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers’ Program Vice President Ryan Reith and IDC said, respectively.

“There is little doubt that China will quickly become the lead market in terms of 5G volume, but other important markets like the US, Korea, United Kingdom and Canada are all expected to help drive 2020 volume,” Reith said.

“The real story here is around pricing, which includes both hardware and service. We are very confident that 5G smartphone prices will come down quickly in order for this market segment to grow.”

With three years of declining smartphone volumes and almost ubiquitous 4G LTE delivering “satisfactory data speeds”, IDC believes there’s little room for 5G to raise smartphone average selling prices. 

Additionally, Android vendors are expected to drive the cost of 5G smartphones down, starting with first quarter announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress, IDC said. Apple’s expected to announce its entrance into the 5G smartphone market in September 2020, with the main interest being in pricing and market availability, the market intelligence provider said.

“Apart from the expected rapid 5G growth in China, we also can’t miss watching other markets such as Australia, Japan and Korea in Asia–Pacific as well as some European countries that have picked up 5G slower than predicted,” said IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers’ Senior Market Analyst Sangeetika Srivastava.

“Shipments so far in the second half of 2019 have come in much lower than expected and price points are not quite at the premium. Accelerated 5G adoption globally will depend a lot on factors like the arrival of 5G networks, operator support, as well as substantial price reductions to offer more affordable 5G devices.”

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