China 5G to revive global smartphone market - Mobile World Live

China 5G to revive global smartphone market

27 NOV 2019

IDC predicted the global smartphone market would rebound in 2020 following three years of declines, spurred primarily by brisk demand for 5G devices in China fuelled by the county’s aggressive rollout of the technology.

The research company tipped 5G smartphone shipments to hit 190 million in 2020, accounting for 14 per cent of a total of 1.4 billion units, which would be up 1.5 per cent year-on-year.

In 2010, the first year 4G devices were available, shipments represented just 1.3 per cent of the total smartphone market, IDC said.

Ryan Reith, programme VP, said recent developments in China along with anticipation of aggressive activity from the smartphone supply chain and OEMs “caused us to raise our short-term 5G forecast”.

He said there is little doubt China will quickly become the lead market in terms of 5G volume, but other important markets including the US, South Korea, UK and Canada are expected to help drive volumes.

“The real story here is around pricing. We are very confident that 5G smartphone prices will come down quickly in order for this market segment to grow,” Reith said.

Following three straight years of falling smartphone shipments, there is little room for 5G to raise ASPs, IDC said.

Senior research analyst Sangeetika Srivastava noted 5G handset shipments in the second half of 2019 had been much lower than expected, even with price points which are not quite at the premium.

She noted accelerated adoption of the next-generation technology “will depend a lot on factors like the arrival of 5G networks, operator support, as well as substantial price reductions” to ensure compatible devices are more affordable.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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