The report with a catchy title “Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker” says that the smartphone market is continuing to be challenged and 2019 will be the third year of declining shipments.
Worldwide smartphone volumes are forecast to fall by 0.8 percent in 2019 with volumes dipping to 1.39 billion.
However, the smartphone market will begin to pick up momentum this year with year-over-year growth of 2.3 percent expected in the second half of the year. Over the long term, smartphone shipments are forecast to reach 1.54 billion units in 2023.
IDC’s worldwide mobile device trackers vice president Ryan Reith said:”The biggest question that remains unanswered is what will bring the smartphone industry back to growth. There is no question industry growth has been down for reasons that have already been identified – longer replacement cycles, a challenged China market, and geopolitical headwinds – but it is shortsighted to overlook the possibilities of some important technological advancements that are within reach with 5G probably being the most significant."
The current year is expected to witness a new high for technological innovation with the introduction of foldable devices and 5G smartphones.
Marketing buzz around 5G is in its pilot stages but expected to ramp up quickly. And while use cases for upgrading to a 5G device/service remain unclear, after 2019 the adoption will begin to attain significant numbers.
IDC currently expects 5G smartphone shipments to account for roughly one out of every four smartphones shipped globally in 2023.
IDC senior research analyst Sangeetika Srivastava said: “Though the 5G developments and foldable screen buzz is yet to have a reality check from users, 2019 will be marked as a year of modernisation in the smartphone market."