IDC: smartphone shipments to drop for third consecutive year

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the smartphone market continues to be challenged and 2019 is projected to experience its third consecutive year of declining shipments. 

Worldwide smartphone volumes are forecast to fall by 0.8% in 2019 with volumes dipping to 1.39 billion, according to the research group. 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.

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"The biggest question that remains unanswered is what will bring the smartphone industry back to growth," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "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."