Millennium Post

Worldwide sales of smartphones decline for first time since 2008

Bengaluru: Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users declined two per cent in 2019, the first time since 2008 that the global market for such phones experienced a decline, Gartner, Inc said.

But they are on track to reach 1.57 billion units in 2020, an increase of three per cent year over year, the research and advisory company said.

"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 at Gartner, 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 was quoted as saying in a Gartner statement.

Gartner forecasts that sales of 5G mobile phones will total 221 million units in 2020 which will account for 12 per cent of overall mobile phone sales and more than double in 2021, to 489 million units.

"The commercialisation of 5G phones will accelerate in 2020. 5G phones costing under $300 have been announced, so sales growth of 5G phones is expected to exceed that of 4G phones over twelve months," Zimmermann said.

Strong demand for 5G phones in general, together with expectations of Apple's first 5G iPhone, will bolster demand for smartphones, particularly in Asia/Pacific and Greater China, according to Gartner.

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," said Senior Research Director at Gartner, Anshul Gupta.

"Premium features including improved camera, display at affordable price will remain key for growth in the Indian smartphone market in 2020," he added.

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