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.