San Francisco: As the lifetime of premium phones continued to extend through 2019, global sales of smartphones will decline by 3.2 per cent this year, the worst decline the category has seen, according to a Gartner forecast on Thursday.
“This is due to consumers holding onto their phones longer, given the limited attraction of new technology,” Ranjit Atwal, Senior Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.
The study estimates that the share of 5G-capable phones will increase from 10 per cent in 2020 to 56 per cent by 2023.
“The major players in the mobile phone market will look for 5G connectivity technology to boost replacements of existing 4G phones,” said Atwal.
The smartphone market will, however, return to the growth path at 2.9 per cent in 2020, Gartner said.
“To ensure smartphone sales pick up again, mobile providers are starting to emphasize 5G performance features, like faster speeds, improved network availability and enhanced security,” Atwal said.
“As soon as providers better align their early performance claims for 5G with concrete plans, we expect to see 5G phones account for more than half of phone sales in 2023. As a result of the impact of 5G, the smartphone market is expected to return to growth at 2.9 per cent in 2020,” Atwal said.
Worldwide shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — will decline 3.7 per cent, according to the latest forecast from Gartner.