In 2019, worldwide smartphone sales declined 2%, the first time since 2008, as the global smartphone market experienced a decline.
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, according to Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.
“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 said.
Gartner forecasts that sales of 5G mobile phones will total 221 million units in 2020 — which will account for 12% of overall mobile phone sales — and more than double in 2021, to 489 million units.
“The commercialization 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,” said Zimmermann.