Smartphone recovery to be driven by 5G - Mobile World Live

Smartphone recovery to be driven by 5G

09 SEP 2019

Analyst company IDC tipped smartphone shipments to return to growth in 2020, fuelled by demand for 5G devices, emerging markets and aggressive promotions.

The company noted the market is currently showing signs of recovery, which will lead to shipment growth in 2020. It predicted shipments would be flat (down 0.4 per cent) in H2 2019, contributing to a full year decline of 2.2 per cent and marking the third straight year of global contraction.

In 2020, however, the company expects shipments to grow by 1.6 per cent.

Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, noted in a statement it is difficult to pin down the direction of the smartphone market, largely due to economic uncertainty caused by the ongoing US, China trade war.

“Consumers continue to hold their devices for lengthier times making sales difficult for the vendors and channels alike,” she said. “However, expectations of aggressive promotions and offers in the second half of 2019 aimed at helping to clear out any channel inventory and get consumers excited about the next wave of smartphone technology should steer the market back toward renewed growth.”

The research company added that while trade and tariff threats continue to dominates headlines, “a ray of hope has arrived for the smartphone world in the form of 5G”.

IDC expects deployments of the technology to ramp in 2020, following initial deployments in 2019, with shipments of 123.5 million devices accounting for 8.9 of the global market. By 2023, share is expected to grow to 28.1 per cent.

Ryan Reith, programme VP for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, cautioned there was not an expectation 5G would be the “saviour in smartphones”, but it would prove to be a critical evolution in mobile technology.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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