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5G to lift up lagging smartphone market

By Zhou Mo in Shenzhen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-10 18:45
Consumers try out 5G smartphones at a shop in Shanghai. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

The global smartphone market is expected to see renewed growth in 2020 thanks to the shift to 5G wireless networks after three consecutive years of decline, according to the latest report by International Data Corporation.

The world's 5G smartphone shipment is projected to account for nearly 9 percent, or 123.5 million units, of all smartphones shipped in 2020, the report said. The percentage is expected to rise to 28 percent by 2023.

According to the consultancy, the global smartphone market has shown signs of recovery in the second half of this year, despite the expectation total shipments would reduce to approximately 1.37 billion units for the whole year, down 2.2 percent from 2018.

The situation is going to change in the coming year, IDC said, with smartphone shipments expected to grow 1.6 percent year-on-year.

"The anticipation of 5G, beginning with smartphones, has been building for quite some time — but the challenges within the smartphone market over the past three years have magnified that anticipation," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "To be clear, we don't think 5G will be the savior of smartphones, but we do see it as a critical evolution in mobile technology."

Chinese smartphone makers are ramping up efforts in the 5G field, competing to gain a foothold in the promising market. A number of vendors, including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, already launched 5G smartphones earlier this year.

Apple's new-generation iPhone models, the iPhone 11 series which will be launched Wednesday, will not have a 5G version.

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