Following three consecutive years of declines in 2018-2020, global smartphone shipments are expected to grow by a double-digit rate or 150 million units in 2021, bolstered by renewed efforts to build infrastructure and accelerate commercial operations for 5G in Japan, Western Europe and the US, according to Digitimes Research.
Looking into the next five years, replacement demand for 5G phones will gather momentum thanks to the growing number of commercial 5G networks and expanding coverage.
The availability entry-level 5G or 4G devices in emerging markets will also drive global smartphone shipments, which are expected to reach over 1.5 billion units in 2023 and 1.7 billion units in 2025, respectively, Digitimes Research estimates.
Samsung Electronics and Apple will be able to secure the top-two positions in 2021, followed by Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. China-based Transsion, which markets entry-level handsets under Tecno, Itel and Infinix brands in Africa and South Asia, will be sixth. Huawei, hit by US trade sanctions, is expected to retreat to seventh place.
Digitimes Research also expects global shipments of 5G phones to reach over 200 million units in 2020 and to expand to over 1.22 billion units in 2025.