Global smartphone shipments to rise by 12% in 2021, 5G devices to outsell 4G models in 2022: Report
Canalys analysts also forecast 5G smartphone shipments will surpass 4G models in 2022.
June 15, 2021 / 02:36 PM IST
Canalys Report: Global Smartphone Shipments to Rise in 2021
The smartphone market saw a 7 percent decline in global shipments in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, analysts from Canalys predict that the market will recover in 2021, forecasting a surge in the adoption of 5G handsets.
While the report notes that the market will bounce back as countries begin to lift restrictions, the bounce-back will be limited due to a shortage of components. Canalys VP of Mobility Nicole Peng noted “As key components, such as chipsets and memory, increase in price, smartphone vendors must decide whether to absorb that cost or pass it on to consumers.”
But despite the bottleneck, Canalys forecasts that global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.4 billion units in 2021, an increase of 12 percent over last year. Canalys analysts noted that smartphone makers will prioritise focusing the flow of shipments in more lucrative markets such as the US, China, and Western Europe at the expense of Africa and Latin America where profit margins are narrower.
Canalys also predicts that smartphone markets will push greater allocation of units to carriers over the open market. Analysts also forecast a rise in 5G smartphone shipments to 43 percent in 2021 as opposed to 37 percent of all global shipments last year. Additionally, 5G shipments are expected to overtake the total 4G units sold in 2022.
Much of the growth of 5G smartphones in 2021 will be attributed to affordable (sub-$300) 5G devices, which are expected to account for 32 percent of all 5G smartphones shipped.