The smartphone market continues to be challenged and 2019 is projected to experience its third consecutive year of declining shipments.
IDC forcest that worldwide smartphone volumes will fall by 0.8% in 2019 with volumes dipping to 1.39 billion. However, the smartphone market will begin to pick up momentum this year with year-over-year growth of 2.3% expected in the second half of the year. Over the long term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.54 billion units in 2023.
"There is no question industry growth has been down for reasons that have already been identified – longer replacement cycles, a challenged China market, and geopolitical headwinds – but it is shortsighted to overlook the possibilities of some important technology advancements that are within reach with 5G probably being the most significant," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.
The current year is expected to witness a new high for technological innovation with the introduction of foldable devices and 5G smartphones. Marketing buzz around 5G is in its early stages but expected to ramp up quickly. And while use cases for upgrading to a 5G device/service remain unclear, it is evident that after 2019 the adoption will begin to attain significant numbers. IDC currently expects 5G smartphone shipments to account for roughly 1 out of every 4 smartphones shipped globally in 2023.