Gartner, a global research and advisory firm providing information, advice, and tools for businesses, recently released a report. The report revealed that the global sales of smartphones will decline by 2.5%, totalling 1.5 billion units in 2019.
It further revealed that global shipments of devices such as PCs, tablets and mobile phones will face a decline of 3.3% year-over-year (YoY), totalling 2.2 billion units in 2019. The report read that the 3.8% decline estimated for the mobile phone market in 2019 is the worst performance the market will ever record. This comes as the current mobile phone market of 1.7 billion shipments falls 10% below the 1.9 billion shipments the market attained in 2015.
The Gartner report also states that Japan, Western Europe, and North America will record the largest declines. The declines are expected to come in this order; Japan -6.5%, Western Europe -5.3%, and North America -4.44%.
According to Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner, demands are expected to get weaker in the later in 2019 as the replacement of high-, low- and mid-end smartphones continue to decline, because of low-value benefits.
In her words, “Lengthening smartphone replacement cycles and a ban on Huawei accessing technology from US-based suppliers weakened the demand for smartphones in the first half of 2019.”
Gartner also forecasts that sales of 5G smartphones will record about 15 million units in 2019. This will represent less than 1% of total smartphone sales in 2019. They also estimated that the total sales of smartphone sales will decline in the second half of 2019, following the trend of the first half of 2019.
Smartphone sales are however expected to rise again in 2020. This rise will be driven by large accessibility and promotion of 5G models and 5G service packages by communications service providers (CSPs) globally. Considering that the first 5G enabled Apple iPhone is expected to launch in 2020, which is expected to entice old iPhone users and new users to upgrade to the phone.
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