The broader availability of 5G models and promotion of 5G service packages should allow for growth in 2020, the market analyst said. The first 5G-capable Apple iPhone is expected to launch in 2020 which could entice iPhone users to upgrade.
In 2019 Japan (-6.5 percent), Western Europe (-5.3 percent) and North America (-4.4 percent) are set to exhibit the worst declines in sales of smartphones in 2019 (see table). Gartner forecasts that sales of 5G smartphones will top 15 million units in 2019, which will represent less than 1 percent of total smartphone sales in that year.
Tabel: Worldwide smartphone sales to end users by region for 2018 to 2020 (Thousands of Units). Source: Gartner.
"Lengthening smartphone replacement cycles and a ban on Huawei accessing technology from U.S.-based suppliers weakened demand for smartphones in the first half of 2019,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "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."
"5G smartphone sales are set to remain small in 2019. Sales will start to ramp up in the second half of 2020 as the coverage and availability of 5G hardware services improve,” said Zimmermann.
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