26 May 2021
2021 Smartphone Growth to Reach Its Highest Level Since 2015, According to IDC
NEEDHAM, Mass. May 26, 2021 — Following back-to-back quarters of growth, International Data Corporation (IDC) has raised its near-term outlook for the global smartphone market. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, shipments of smartphones are forecast to reach 1.38 billion units in 2021, an increase of 7.7% over 2020. This trend is expected to continue into 2022, when year-over-year growth will be 3.8% with shipments totaling 1.43 billion.
Markets worldwide continue to migrate toward 5G, where networks are deployed. Within emerging markets, there is strong demand for mid-range and low-end 4G phones following last year's pandemic slowdown. Looking toward the later years in the forecast, IDC expects low single-digit growth to continue through 2025 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7%. The global semiconductor shortage remains a concern for many industries and the smartphone market has not been excluded from this. However, the impact has been far less than in other markets like automotive, PC, and various consumer tech categories.
"Smartphones are seeing competition for consumer spending from adjacent markets like PCs, tablets, TVs, and smart home devices, yet that hasn't slowed the market's path to recovery," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "The smartphone market returned to growth during the holiday quarter last year and since then we've only seen production from top suppliers ramp up. There continues to be a strong supply-side push toward 5G, and price points continue to drop as a result. IDC expects average selling prices (ASPs) for 5G Android devices to drop 12% year over year in 2021 to $456 and then below $400 in 2022. Apple will continue to feel price pressure."
With 5G shipments expected to grow nearly 130% in 2021, almost all regions outside of China will see triple-digit growth by the end of this year. However, in terms of market share, China will lead the way with nearly 50% share of 5G shipments in 2021 while the US will follow with a 16% share. Other significant markets such as Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding China and Japan) will combine for a 23.1% share of the worldwide 5G market by the end of 2021.
"Although the 7.7% growth will feel like an impressive market turnaround, we must keep in mind that we are rebounding from one of the most challenging years on record," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "2021 will represent the largest year-over-year growth the market has witnessed since 2015, as the shift towards 5G across all price tiers continues to accelerate. The 5G shift will also deliver peak smartphone ASPs in 2021 ($376, up 9.7% year over year) when compared to the remainder of the forecast period as costly 5G devices continue to replace LTE devices, which are also starting to drop in price, down 27% in 2021."
About IDC Trackers
IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly Excel deliverables and on-line query tools.
For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or email@example.com.
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International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.
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