Strategy Analytics tipped global smartphone wholesale revenue to recover in 2021, driven by the easing of Covid-19 (coronavirus) restrictions and greater demand for 5G models.

The company predicted wholesale revenue to grow 13 per cent year-on-year to more than $400 billion, a six-year high and contrasting with a 5 per cent decline during 2020.

Strategy Analytics senior director Linda Sui noted devices with a wholesale price of $600 and above, which it refers to as the ultra-premium segment, would account for more than half of overall revenue during the year, primarily driven by a “super cycle” involving Apple’s iPhone 12 models.

Associate director Boris Metodiev cited migration toward 5G, higher component prices and “overdue replacement of ageing devices” as factors in the expected revenue rise: he added the growth trend is expected to continue in subsequent years.

The company predicted a 7 per cent rise in shipments to 1.4 billion units, with wholesale ASPs tipped for 6 per cent growth to $294.

It forecast China, the US, India and Japan to account for a combined 54 per cent of total wholesale revenue in 2021.