5G smartphones set for massive growth in 2020

Gartner predicts that 1.57 billion smartphone units will be sold in 2020, which would constitute a 3% year-on-year increase.

This follows a poor year for smartphone sales in 2019, where smartphone sales declined by 2% – the first time since 2008 that the global smartphone market suffered a year-on-year decrease in sales.

“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,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.

Zimmermann highlighted that many users may also have delayed their smartphone purchases until this year in the hope that prices would be reduced.

However, she predicted that the market will rebound in 2020 due to the introduction of 5G network coverage in more countries.

5G smartphones set for huge growth

Gartner believes that general strong demand for 5G smartphones, including Apple’s expected first 5G iPhone, will be a key driving force for smartphone demand across the globe – with particular interest being expected in in the Asia/Pacific and Greater China regions.

Gartner has predicted that 221 million 5G smartphones will be sold in 2020, which is expected to account for 12% of this year’s overall mobile phone sales.

“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.

This figure will increase by over double in 2021, forecasts Gartner, when it believes 489 million 5G smartphone units will be sold.

Zimmerman also highlighted that MWC 2020 is expected to place a great focus on 5G devices at both the affordable and expensive ends of the pricing scale.

“The key focus for vendors will be access to 5G and enhancement of the camera technology within devices.”

View Garner’s smartphone sales statistics for 2019, as well as its predictions for 2020 and 2021, below.

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Region
Region 2019 2020 2021
Eastern Europe 48,468 48,532 49,121
Emerging Asia/Pacific 363,643 376,784 396,394
Eurasia 48,612 50,915 52,860
Greater China 411,351 432,328 426,002
Japan 31,866 32,273 33,027
Latin America 129,830 125,635 122,963
Mature Asia/Pacific 30,095 31,802 31,234
Middle East and North Africa 73,872 78,226 75,604
North America 152,857 155,350 158,618
Sub-Saharan Africa 90,103 91,917 93,169
Western Europe 144,141 147,457 150,206
Total 1,524,838 1,571,219 1,589,198

Now read: World’s cheapest 5G smartphone unveiled

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5G smartphones set for massive growth in 2020