The global smartphone market is set to hit a new record in 2021, according to the latest data by IDC.
As per the market research company, shipments of smartphones are expected to hit a figure of 1.38 billion units in 2021, which is an increase of 7.7% over 2020. IDC says that this trend is set to continue into 2022 when year-over-year growth will be 3.8% with shipments totalling 1.43 billion.
“Although the 7.7% 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,” said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “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,” he added.
IDC attributes this growth to migration towards 5G — where networks are deployed. “With 5G shipments expected to grow nearly 130% in 2021, almost all regions outside of China will see triple-digit growth by the end of this year,” said IDC.
As for the non-5G markets, IDC says that there is a strong demand for mid-range and low-end 4G phones following last year’s pandemic slowdown.
“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. “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,” he added.