Home > Industry > Global Smartphone Sales Forecast To Drop 10% In 2020, But Return To Growth In 2021

Global Smartphone Sales Forecast To Drop 10% In 2020, But Return To Growth In 2021

Research firm IDC estimates global smartphone shipments to fall by nearly 10% in 2020; however, they expect the market to return to growth in 2021, driven by 5G handsets.

“While many of the top vendors have reduced their 2020 production plans to align with the market decline, we’ve seen most of the cuts focused on their 4G portfolios. Most channels in developed markets have set the expectation that the portfolios they carry will be dominated by 5G units by the end of 2020, leaving less shelf space for 4G,” said Ryan Reith, Program Vice President with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“However, we still believe that consumer demand for 5G is very low and when that is combined with the economic headwinds facing the market, the pressure to drive down hardware and service fees associated with 5G will become increasingly important.”

IDC has predicted that 5G smartphones will represent half of the global market by 2023.

More broadly, IDC expects the smartphone market to make a full recovery by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 1.7% over the next five years.

“Although we expect year-over-year growth of 9% in 2021, that is only due to the large drop in 2020. The real recovery won’t happen until 2022 when smartphone volumes return to pre-COVID levels,” said Nabila Popal, Research Director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

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