Global smartphone market at its highest level in six years

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In 2021, the global smartphone market will experience its strongest growth for six years and should catch up with the declines prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

5G mobile shipments set to increase sharply

Smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.38 billion units in 2021, according to research firm IDC, representing 7.7% year-over-year growth and the strongest annual growth in shipments since 2015. IDC also claims that the global market continues to evolve towards 5G networks. The firm said 5G mobile shipments are expected to increase by nearly 130% in 2021, and that by the end of the year, they will see triple-digit growth in virtually all regions outside of China. China. However, China will concentrate almost half of the deliveries and is expected to dominate the global 5G market, followed by the United States at 16%.

For comparison, the volumes of deliveries of smartphones reached 1.29 billion in 2020, and 1.37 billion in 2019. If the 2021 forecasts are confirmed, they will validate the forecasts made by the research firm earlier in January. At the time, IDC announced that the smartphone market would rebound this year to return to the levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic. Anthony Scarsella, research director for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said the switch to 5G affects all segments of the market and selling prices this year will peak at an average of $ 376 over five years. that’s up 9.7% year-on-year by 2025. This is due to the fact that 5G devices continue to replace 4G / LTE devices, which are starting to drop in price, with an estimated drop of 27% in 2021.

3.7% growth per year on average over 5 years

However, in 2021, average selling prices of 5G Android devices are expected to decline 12% year-on-year, to $ 456, with further declines to follow in 2022, to less than $ 400. So, according to Ryan Reith, vice president of the Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers program at IDC, Apple will continue to face price pressure. “In terms of consumer spending, smartphones are subject to competition from adjacent markets just like PCs, tablets, televisions and smart home devices, but this has not held back the market recovery,” he said. added Mr Reith.

While the global growth rate of 7.7% forecast for 2021 appears high, Scarsella notes that the starting point is very low, calling 2021 “one of the most difficult years on record”. Going forward, and at least through 2025, the single-digit growth of the market is expected to continue, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% over five years. “Also, although the current global semiconductor shortage affects many dependent industries, the impact on the smartphone market has been less than that seen in the PC and automotive industries, and in other industries. other consumer technology sectors, ”added the research firm.

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