For the first time since 2008 global market for smartphones experienced a decline. A report by Gartner Inc says that worldwide sales of smartphones to end users declined two per cent in 2019. However, the report also suggested that smartphone sales are likely to be back on track in 2020 to reach 1.57 billion, clocking an increase of three per cent year over year.
"2019 was a challenging year for smartphone vendors, primarily due to oversupply in the high-end sector in mature markets and longer replacement cycles overall," Research Vice President of the research and advisory company, Annette Zimmermann said.
"However, in 2020, the market is expected to rebound with the introduction of 5G network coverage in more countries and as users who may have delayed their smartphone purchases until 2020 in expectation of price reductions begin buying again," she added.
The research firm estimates the sales of 5G mobile phones in 2020 to reach a total of 221 million, which will account for 12 per cent of the overall sales. It is likely to increase to more than double to 489 million in 2021, stated the Gartner report.
"The commercialisation of 5G phones will accelerate in 2020. 5G phones costing under USD 300 have been announced, so sales growth of 5G phones is expected to exceed that of 4G phones over twelve months," Zimmermann said.
The research firm estimates that the strong demand for 5G phones in general along with Apple's first 5G iPhone would bolster demand for smartphones, especially in Asia Pacific and Greater China.
In terms of smartphone sales, Greater China and emerging Asia/Pacific will maintain their number one and number two positions globally in 2020, with respective sales of 432.3 million and 376.8 million smartphones, it was stated.
"Smartphone sales will register growth in 2020 as the demand for mid-price smartphones rises in India. Premium features including improved camera, display at affordable price will remain key for growth in the Indian smartphone market in 2020," said Senior Research Director at Gartner, Anshul Gupta.