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Global Smartphone Shipments To Boom In 2021

Smartphone shipments are forecasted to boom by 13.9 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021 and 5.5 per cent for the full year.

According to a report by IDC, the supply of 5G devices and recovery in demand will also deliver a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 per cent over the 2020-2025 forecast period.

China and the US will be the biggest growth markets for smartphones over the period, with the countries forecasted to grow by 5 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively in 2021.

The outlook for China remains stable despite several city lockdowns in early 2021, reflecting the strength of consumer confidence there.

“Despite ongoing lockdowns and economic concerns, IDC continues to see strong demand for smartphones. We are also seeing that everyone in the value chain – from supply chains, OEMs, and channels to consumers – is better prepared to handle any further lockdowns. IDC has seen accelerated growth in online channels, climbing to 27% share in 2020 from just 20% the prior year, as channels adapt to the pandemic lifestyle,” said Nabila Popalresearch director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“Ramp ups in production and improved channel planning combined with strong pent-up demand are all pointing to healthy growth in the months ahead.”

Despite a 10-11 per cent year-over-year decline for both China and the US in 2020 during the pandemic, 5G development and the success of the recently launched iPhones are expected to boost shipments in 2021.

5G remains the driving factor in the industry, accelerated by the success of Apple’s 5G iPhone 12 line up. IDC expects 5G smartphone shipments to account for more than 40 per cent of global volume in 2021 and grow to 69 per cent in 2025.

Both factors have helped to increase the overall average selling price (ASP) for smartphones to $363 in 2021, up from $349 in IDC’s previous forecast.

“The strong performance in the last quarter of 2020 has led to a huge push from all OEMs to increase production. Although this may create some temporary challenges in production, we do not foresee any significant gap as the manufacturers successfully cope with the ramp up,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

“On the other hand, this is likely to intensify the pressure on smaller vendors as larger vendors are given priority by ODMs, making it harder for them to obtain targeted volumes.”

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