Smartphone sales expected to record worst decline in 2019, but will rebound in 2020, report says

Smartphone sales expected to record worst decline in 2019, but will rebound in 2020, report says
The end is nigh! For phone sales growth that is. Sales of phones (mostly smartphones these days) have hit a plateau in the past couple of years and research agency Gartner now estimates that in 2019 the global phone market will shrink by a sizable 68 million units, or 3.8% if you compare to phone sales last year.

Gartner goes on to paint a long-term picture of its expectations for the phone market all the way until 2021, and interestingly, it only predicts a sharp drop in sales this year, with a rebound following in 2020 and the market staying almost flat (with a slight decline) in 2021.

See the predicted numbers below:


Interestingly, the numbers show that the phone market has already lost quite a bit of its weight from its peak days:


Basically, Gartner is saying that smartphone sales will decline by 2.5% in 2019, the worst for the category since its inception. The company also forecasts that people will cling on to their high-end phones longer: the average life span of a high-end phone will increase from 2.6 years to nearly 2.9 years through 2023.

Of course, all such long-term reports should be taken with a big grain of salt: it's impossible to predict an incredibly dynamic, fast-paced market like the phone market for years to come. And research firms have often made predictions that have been not just wrong, they have been incredibly short-sighted: for example, IDC once predicted that Windows Phones will command a 20% market share in 2020 and we all know how this prediction played out.


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8 Comments

1. OneLove123

Posts: 1260; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

It's never gonna rebound if the damn price keeps going up

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7574; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Well that's only for flagship models. Try and remember that there is both mid range, and low end smartphones. Plus they make up the bulk of all the smartphones being sold around the world every year. Not to mention the bulk of them are Android

5. Fred3

Posts: 583; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Most of the mid range phones prices starting to rise as well. I remember when Oneplus phones was only $300-350

2. TBomb

Posts: 1662; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

30M doesn't seem like a rebound to me. Worldwide, that's only 1Million for each of the 29 first world countries. if it was a single phone that grew by 30M in a year, that's one thing. but this is mobile phones as an entire category. underwhelming

4. cmdacos

Posts: 4322; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

No kidding. 5G alone will drive growth over the next three years.

6. Fred3

Posts: 583; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Only for tech smart users. The general population could care less about 5G. As long as they can make phone calls, text and use fb or instagram or snapchat, they won't care

7. lyndon420

Posts: 6878; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

The screen hasn't cracked, and the battery is still holding up ok on my phone, so no need for an upgrade to something with less features (wired headphone jack for example).

8. almostdone

Posts: 449; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

The smartphone market is already saturated and people are no longer interested in upgrading yearly. Phones are good enough and there is no need for upgrade for a few years... Market is going on a downwards trend forever. iPhone's will be hit the hardest. They bring out the same thing every year with a slightly faster chip.

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