Latest smartphone market forecast identifies 5G as 'ray of hope' for the entire industry, iPhones included
expected to continue throughout the second half of 2019 and the entirety of 2020, starting with a pretty much negligible 0.4 percent decline in worldwide sales between July and December this year. That would limit 2019's overall market contraction to 2.2 percent compared to 2018's global total, although smartphone manufacturers are unlikely to be happy to see the industry deteriorate for a third consecutive year.This slowly improving trend is
On the bright side, the IDC believes smartphone shipments could grow by a modest 1.6 percent in 2020, boosted by the expansion of 5G networks. 5G-enabled devices are projected to account for 8.9 percent of next year's total sales, equating to a pretty impressive 123.5 million units. That market share should then rise at a steady pace for the next few years, crossing 28 percent by 2023.
The IDC's analysts explain the "5G ramp on smartphones" will be far "more subtle than what we saw with 4G" due to the sky-high level of penetration of mobile devices these days. Practically everybody owns a 4G handset right now and most people are happy with their speeds, capabilities, and prices, which is why the jump to 5G doesn't feel particularly urgent.
But 5G is the market's "ray of hope", predicted to help boost Android's share even further (from 85 percent in 2018 to 87 this year), as well as stabilize iPhone shipments late next year. Today's introduction of the LTE-only iPhone 11 lineup is expected to contribute to the family's massive 14.8 percent decline to 177.9 million units this year, followed by a "slight" uptick in sales on the heels of the fall 2020 debut of the first 5G iPhone(s).