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Smartphone Sales To Rebound In 2020 Thanks To 5G

Worldwide smartphone sales are expected to rebound in 2020, buoyed by expanding 5G networks and expected to rise 3% year-over-year, especially in the Australian and New Zealand markets, according to the latest report by Gartner.

In 2019, worldwide smartphone sales declined 2% – the first decline since 2008 – but that is set to change this year with Gartner forecasting sales of 5G mobile phones to reach 221 million units, accounting for 12% of overall sales. Better still, in 2021, this number will more than double, reaching 489 million units sold.

“2019 was a challenging year for smartphone vendors, primarily due to oversupply in the high-end sector in mature markets and longer replacement cycles overall,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice-president at Gartner.

“However, in 2020, the market is expected to rebound with the introduction of 5G network coverage in more countries and as users who may have delayed their smartphone purchases until 2020 in expectation of price reductions begins buying again.”

“The commercialisation of 5G phones will accelerate in 2020. 5G phones costing under $300 have been announced, so sales growth of 5 phones is expected to exceed that of 4G phones over 12 months.”

From a regional perspective, mature Asia Pacific (which includes Australia and New Zealand), the Middle East and North Africa, and Greater China (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) will show the highest growth rates this year.

In terms of smartphone sales, Greater China and emerging Asia Pacific will maintain their No.1 and No.2 spots globally, with respective sales of 432.3 million and 376.8 million smartphones.

“Attention at this year’s MWC will be drawn to 5G devices at either end of the price scale, some of which may be revealed before the event,” Zimmermann said.

“The key focus for vendors will be access to 5G and enhancement of the camera technology within devices.”

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