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Smartphones To Bounce Back In Holiday Quarter

The global smartphone market is set to rebound in the holiday quarter, returning to growth after a stronger-than-expected third quarter of 2020.

Market intelligence provider IDC has tipped 2.4 percent year-on-year growth for smartphone shipments in 4Q20, powered by fast recovery in the supply chain, as well as OEM and channel incentives on 5G products. IDC predicts this growth to increase to 4.4 per cent in 2021.

According to Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, smartphone volumes exceeded forecasts in 3Q20 despite concerns about 5G demand, with supply-side volume heading into the holidays and the new year remaining strong.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that despite ongoing lockdowns and economic concerns, consumers in many markets around the world have shifted their normal spending from things like travel, dining out, and general leisure to things like consumer electronics. Smartphones happen to be a benefactor of this transition,” he said.

IDC has labelled 5G as the “driving force” for the industry from a technology standpoint, with 5G smartphone shipments to approach 10 per cent of the global market this year and 29 per cent in 2024.

According to Sangeetika Srivastava, senior analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, getting 5G to approach price parity with 4G will play an important role in transitioning the industry to the new technology.

“The COVID-19 crisis has influenced consumer behaviour by tilting it toward more budget-friendly devices and narrowing the spend for essentials only. Aggressive promotions and more affordable 5G devices from major smartphone vendors are expected to partially offset the impact in the near term,” she said.

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