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CCS Insight: Mobile phones sales to drop 3pc during 2019

Manny Pham
March 27, 2019

Sales were expected to hit two billion by 2022 but will stagnate at 1.9 billion until 2023

Global mobile phone sales will only hit 1.8 billion units in 2019 which will be down three per cent year-on-year.

This is according to research from CCS Insight released today (March 27). A previous forecast also predicted sales to reach two billion units by 2022 but it now expects 1.9 billion units to ship annually until 2023.

A number of reasons were highlighted for the slump in figures such as: consumers are keeping phones longer, second hand phones are considered viable options, a weakened Chinese economy, and high handset prices.

Changing consumer behaviour is the main driver for stagnant shipment figures in most countries. In Western Europe , sales have fallen 23pc between 2013 and 2018 due to this.

Research found 35pc of customers in this region will keep their current phone for longer than their previous one and 13pc said they would change their phone faster than before.

CCS also downgraded expectations in almost every market except India which will see a rise of only five per cent to over 320 million in 2019. This marks the Asian country as important ground for vendors to do battle as CCS expects the Indian market to bounce back and take 400 million units by 2023 – roughly as many in China, the largest mobile phone market.

Distant target
CCS Insight vice president of forecasting said Marina Koytcheva said: “Yearly sales of 2 billion mobile phones seemed so close just a few years ago, but might become a distant dream for the industry”.

She also notes that the rising prices of smartphones has presented a “psychological threshold of $1,000″ causing consumers to re-evaluate their choices.

CCS expects 5G phones to get off to a slower start than expected but the introduction of the next mobile network standard will push up sales as it has in the past.

The analyst firm predicts 220 million 5G phones will be sold in 2020, rising to 930 million in 2023 to account for almost half of all mobile phone sales.

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