IDC: Smartphone shipments to grow slowly until 2022

A report from IDC suggests that smartphone shipments are going to continue to decline by 3% this year before “returning to low single-digit growth” between 2019 and 2022. It said that the growth of smartphones will be driven by emerging markets, new device form factors, and 5G. For the last few years, most people have been able to hold on to devices longer due to powerful hardware specs but the previously mentioned factors may encourage customers to go buying again.

Discussing the findings, Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said:

“With many of the large global companies focusing on high-end product launches, hoping to draw in consumers looking to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect head-to-head competition within this segment during the holiday quarter and into 2019 to be exceptionally high.”

IDC’s Melissa Chau also said that we shouldn’t expect to see major adoption of flexible screen devices in 2019. Several big players are expected to put foldable devices on the market, in October LG confirmed plans to launch a foldable phone, Samsung is planning to launch its foldable phone in March for a huge $1,770, and OPPO is planning to show off its offering at Mobile World Congress 2019.

In terms of market share, IDC says that Android, which represents 85.1% of the market will grow to 86.2% in 2022. Meanwhile, iOS is expected to lose market share, going from 14.8% to 13.8%. It’ll be interesting to see how these predictions play out – next year several countries will be turning on 5G networks so customers in those markets will likely be looking to upgrade their devices.

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