The global smartphone market is set to return to growth for the first time in 4 years in 2020 on the back of China’s huge investment in 5G technology, according to the latest report from International Data Corporation (IDC).
Worldwide shipments are expected to grow 1.5 percent year on year in 2020 to just over 1.4 billion following falls of 0.3 percent in 2017, 4.3 percent in 2018 and an expected 1.4 percent this year.
The 2020 figure is set to include 190 million 5G smartphones, accounting for 14 percent of the total, driven by recent developments in the China market along with anticipation of aggressive activity from the smartphone supply chain and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), said IDC.
The report expressed the hope that 5G smartphone prices will quickly come down quickly to boost the growth of this market segment. “Following three straight years of declining smartphone volumes there leaves little room for 5G to raise smartphone ASPs,” said IDC, adding that Android vendors are expected to drive down the cost of 5G smartphones.
Apple is expected to enter the 5G smartphone market in September 2020, with the real focus around pricing and market availability.
In contrast to the expected rapid 5G growth in China, demand in other markets such as Australia, Japan, and Korea in Asia/Pacific as well as some European countries is set to be slower than predicted, added IDC.
The report said shipments so far in the second half of 2019 have come in much lower than expected, with accelerated 5G adoption globally depending on factors such as the arrival of 5G networks, operator support, as well as substantial price reductions.