Smartphone shipments to reach 1.38 bn in 2021, highest since 2015

The shipments of smartphones are forecast to reach 1.38 billion units globally in 2021, an increase of 7.7 per cent over 2020 and its highest-ever level since 2015, a new report has showed.
Representative image.
Representative image.

New Delhi

This trend is expected to continue into 2022, when year-over-year growth will be 3.8 per cent with shipments reaching 1.43 billion, according to International Data Corporation's (IDC) 'Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker'. 
"Smartphones are seeing competition for consumer spending from adjacent markets like PCs, tablets, TVs, and smart home devices, yet that hasn't slowed the market's path to recovery," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. 
With 5G shipments expected to grow nearly 130 per cent in 2021, almost all regions outside of China will see triple-digit growth by the end of this year. 
However, in terms of market share, China will lead the way with nearly 50 per cent share of 5G shipments in 2021 while the US will follow with a 16 per cent share. 
Other significant markets such as Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding China and Japan) will combine for a 23.1 per cent share of the worldwide 5G market by the end of 2021. 
"2021 will represent the largest year-over-year growth the market has witnessed since 2015, as the shift towards 5G across all price tiers continues to accelerate," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. 
Although the 7.7 per cent growth will feel like an impressive market turnaround, "we must keep in mind that we are rebounding from one of the most challenging years on record". 
The 5G shift will also deliver peak smartphone ASPs in 2021 ($376, up 9.7 per cent year over year). 
The smartphone market returned to growth during the holiday quarter last year and since then, "we've only seen production from top suppliers ramp up", Reith said. 
Within emerging markets, there is strong demand for mid-range and low-end 4G phones following last year's pandemic slowdown. 
IDC expects low single-digit growth to continue through 2025 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 per cent.

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