While the supply chain situation hasn’t drastically improved, the smartphone market has shown positive results in recent quarters. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipments of smartphones are expected to grow 7.4% in 2021, reaching 1.37 billion units, followed by 3.4% growth in 2022 and 2023, respectively. And it’s good news for Apple.
IDC says the 7.4% growth can be attributed to a healthy 13.8% growth from iOS devices combined with 6.2% growth from Android. Although COVID-19 drastically impacted 2020 shipments, 2021 shipments have managed to display minimal growth compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic) volumes. The world’s largest markets – China, the United States, and Western Europe – will still be down from 2019, but growing markets such as India, Japan, the Middle East, and Africa are fueling the recovery, adds the research group.
5G shipments continue to be a primary driver of 2021 growth as both vendors and channels focus on 5G devices that carry a significantly higher average selling price (ASP) than older 4G devices. The ASP of a 5G smartphone will reach US$634 in 2021, which is flat from $632 in 2020, according to IDC.
However, 4G devices continue to witness a massive price decline as the ASP drops to $206, representing a nearly 30% decline from last year ($277). As a result, the total 5G shipment volume will grow to 570 million units, up 123.4% from last year, says IDC. The research group projects that China will continue to lead the market with 47.1% of the 5G global market share, followed by the USA at 16%, India at 6.1%, and Japan at 4.1%. By the end of 2022, 5G units are expected to make up more than half of all smartphone shipments with a 54.1% share.