Gartner analyst @MobileAnn forecasts worldwide #smartphone sales will grow 3% in 2020. Read more. #Mobilephone #Tech @Gartner_IT
Phone sales dropped two percent in 2019. That’s the first time sales dropped since 2008. It’s been a wild ride since Apple introduced the first iPhone.
Gartner says it expects sales to climb three percent in 2020. The rebound is down to the 5G networks being built around the world. The research company says this is likely to stimulate a replacement cycle as people upgrade to the new, faster standard.
“However, in 2020, the market is expected to rebound with the introduction of 5G network coverage in more countries and as users who may have delayed their smartphone purchases until 2020 in expectation of price reductions begin buying again.”
— Annette Zimmermann, Gartner research vice president.
Gartner says it expects the industry will 221 million 5G phones in 2020. That’s about one in eight of the total number of phones sold. This will more than double in 2021 to 489 million units.
5G iPhone coming
Another aspect of this will be the first 5G iPhone, which Gartner says will boost demand in Asia-Pacific and China.
So far the big winner from 5G has been Samsung. The company sold more than 6.7 million Galaxy 5G devices during 2019. That was more than half the market last year. Which means the 5G phones market will grow roughly 20-fold in 2020.
Samsung has poured resources into 5G. It’s range now includes the Note S10 5G, the Note S10+ 5G, the Galaxy 10 5G, the Galaxy Fold 5G and, at the bottom of the range, the inexpensive Galaxy A90 5G. This tells another 5G story. While much fo the talk about the technology is looking at flagship phone models, there’s plenty of demand lower down the market.
Although Samsung’s early 5G dominance looks impressive, it’s not a big deal. those 6.7 million 5G phones were roughly two percent of the company’s output last year — a drop in the ocean.
Phone or smartphone?
Gartner and many other companies like to talk of smartphones. The idea is that these are distinct from phones that are not smart. (The industry calls unsmart phones feature phones, which is confusing because the main point is they have fewer features).
As far as countries like New Zealand are concerned, phones are nearly all smart, feature phones make up a tiny fraction of the total.