Smartphone market to enjoy strong growth in 2021

August 31, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Smartphone market to enjoy strong growth in 2021
About 1.37 billion smartphones are expected to ship in 2021, an increase of 7.4 percent on 2020, according to International Data Corp.

This strong growth follows a depressed market in 2020 and growth is expected to return to a more typical 3.4 percent in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

IDC attributes the 7.4 percent growth to 13.8 percent growth from iOS devices combined with 6.2 percent growth from Android. 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.

Annual smartphone shipments by equipment generation. Source: IDC.

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 $634 in 2021, which is flat from $632 in 2020. However, 4G devices continue to witness a massive price decline as the ASP drops to $206, representing a nearly 30 percent decline from last year ($277).

As a result, the total 5G shipment volume will grow to 570 million units, up 123.4 percent from last year. China will continue to lead the market with 47.1 percent of the 5G global market share, followed by the US at 16 percent, India at 6.1 percent, and Japan at 4.1 percent. By the end of 2022, 5G units are expected to make up more than half of all smartphone shipments with a 54.1 percent share.

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