Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users are on track to reach 1.57 billion units in 2020, an increase of 3 percent year over year, according to Gartner. The researchers forecast that sales of 5G mobile phones will total 221 million units in 2020 — which will account for 12 percent of overall mobile phone sales — and more than double in 2021, to 489 million units.
In 2019, worldwide smartphone sales declined 2%, the first time since 2008, as the global smartphone market experienced a decline.
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, according to Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.
From a regional perspective, the Middle East and North Africa, mature Asia/Pacific and Greater China (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) will exhibit the highest growth rates in 2020, at 5.9 percent, 5.7 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, Gartner expects.
Strong demand for 5G phones in general, together with expectations of Apple’s first 5G iPhone, will bolster demand for smartphones, particularly in Asia/Pacific and Greater China, according to the research. In terms of smartphone sales, Greater China and emerging Asia/Pacific will maintain their No. 1 and No. 2 positions globally in 2020, with respective sales of 432.3 million and 376.8 million smartphones.
“The commercialization of 5G phones will accelerate in 2020. 5G phones costing under $300 have been announced, so sales growth of 5G phones is expected to exceed that of 4G phones over twelve months,” said Zimmermann.
Strong demand for 5G phones in general, together with expectations of Apple’s first 5G iPhone, will bolster demand for smartphones, particularly in Asia/Pacific and Greater China, according to Gartner.