Global shipments of 5G-enabled smartphones are expected to reach over 250 million units in 2020, accounting for over 20% of global smartphone shipments for the year, according to Digitimes Research's latest estimation.
Digitimes Research also maintains its April forecast that global smartphone shipments for 2020 will contract 15.2% to 1.15 billion units as global economic activities remain weak amid the lingering impacts of the pandemic.
Shipments of 5G phones in the China market alone will total 170 million units in 2020 as Chinese handset vendors have been keen on rolling out entry-level and mid-tier 5G models to spur replacement demand in the local market.
5G models will account for 52.7% of total smartphones shipped to China in 2020 and two-thirds of the total 5G phone shipments shipped worldwide in the year, Digitimes Research's figures show.
Bolstered by stronger-than-expected 5G phone sales, China's smartphone shipments are likely to stay flat or fall slightly in second-half 2020 as compared to a year earlier, finishing out the year with a 10.3% decline in its smartphone shipments.
5G phone shipments outside China will reach only 82.3 million units or below 10% of global smartphone shipments in 2020 as the rollouts of 5G networks in most other parts of the world have been delayed by the pandemic.
Overall smartphone shipments outside China also took a hit from the virus experiencing a 25.9% on-year decline in second-quarter 2020 and are expected to come out the year with an on-year decline of 17.1%.