Global smartphone sales are set to rise by 3 per cent in 2020, buoyed by increased demand for 5G handsets.
A new report by Gartner suggests that the number of smartphones in the market will rise to 1.57 billion units in 2020.
“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. “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.”
Last year, smartphone sales declined by 2 per cent, as the market contracted for the first time.
Gartner estimates that the market will see more than 221 million 5G handsets flood the market in 2020, as more countries launch their initial 5G network offerings.
“The commercialisation 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.
The Middle East and North Africa will see the highest growth rates in 2020, at 5.9 per cent, with China also expected to see significant growth in 2020 of 5.7 per cent.
Of the world’s big three smartphone producers, so far only Huawei and Samsung have launched 5G handsets, with Apple languishing behind their competitors. Demand for a 5G iPhone is expected to be strong when the US firm eventually launches it later this year.