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2021 Smartphone Growth To Reach Highest Peak Since 2015

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipments of smartphones are forecast to increase 7.7 per cent over 2020.

1.38 billion units are expected to ship this year, as markets continue to move towards 5G connectivity.

2022 will see a further 3.8 per cent growth, with an expected 1.43 billion units forecast to ship. This is despite semiconductor shortages which have caused a backlog.

“Smartphones are seeing competition for consumer spending from adjacent markets like PCs, tablets, TVs, and smart home devices, yet that hasn’t slowed the market’s path to recovery,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“The smartphone market returned to growth during the holiday quarter last year and since then we’ve only seen production from top suppliers ramp up.

“There continues to be a strong supply-side push toward 5G, and price points continue to drop as a result. IDC expects average selling prices (ASPs) for 5G Android devices to drop 12 per cent year over year in 2021 to US$456 and then below US$400 in 2022. Apple will continue to feel price pressure.”

5G shipments are expected to grow nearly 130 per cent in 2021. China will make up nearly 50% share of these shipments, with the US boasting a 16% share.

“Although the 7.7% growth will feel like an impressive market turnaround, we must keep in mind that we are rebounding from one of the most challenging years on record,” points out Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“2021 will represent the largest year-over-year growth the market has witnessed since 2015, as the shift towards 5G across all price tiers continues to accelerate.

“The 5G shift will also deliver peak smartphone ASPs in 2021 ($376, up 9.7% year over year) when compared to the remainder of the forecast period as costly 5G devices continue to replace LTE devices, which are also starting to drop in price, down 27% in 2021.”

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