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Global smartphone sales to decline in 2019 before 5G boost next year

Paul Lipscombe
August 1, 2019

Gartner expect 5G sales to reach 15 million this year

Global smartphone sales will decline by 2.5 per cent this year as the market awaits 5G adoption.

The prediction has been
made by Gartner, who revealed that sales of smartphones to end users
will reach 1.5 billion units this year.

Despite the decline
this year, Gartner does however expect smartphone sales to increase
again next year with a wider availability of 5G smartphones
anticipated to drive growth.

With a number of
analysts expecting Apple to release its first 5G phone next year,
this has also been seen as a reason to drive sales.

Gartner research vice
president Annette Zimmermann said: “Lengthening smartphone
replacement cycles and a ban on Huawei accessing technology from
US-based suppliers weakened demand for smartphones in the first half
of 2019.

“We expect demand to
get even weaker in the second half as replacement of high, low, and
mid-end smartphones continues to slow, due to low value benefits.”

So far only a handful
of vendors has released a 5G smartphones, including; Samsung, LG,
Oppo and Xiaomi and Zimmermann expects this to drive sales in the
second half of next year.

Gartner expects 5G
smartphone sales will top 15 million units this year, representing
less than one per cent of total smartphone sales in the year.

Decline

The markets predicted
to see the greatest decline are Japan (6.5 per cent), Western Europe
(5.3 per cent) and North America (4.4 per cent).

Gartner senior research
director Roberta Cozza added: “In mature markets, the high-end
smartphone market is particularly oversupplied and commoditised, with
higher average selling prices (ASP) and no compelling new utility or
experiences for users to upgrade to.

“Despite ASP
increases on high-end smartphones slowing down recently, the vendors
who primarily rely on replacement smartphone sales continue to face
tough times.”

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