|5G phones to represent 51% of total phone sales in 2023, Gartner says|
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei
Friday 19 July 2019
5G-capable phones will represent 6% of total sales of phones in 2020, according to Gartner.
"As 5G service coverage increases, user experience will improve and prices will decrease. The leap will occur in 2023 when we expect 5G phones to account for 51% of phone sales," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
By 2020, 7% of global communications service providers will have a commercially viable wireless 5G service, Gartner indicated. This will mark significant progress from 5G proofs of concept and commercial network construction work in 2018.
Earlier in 2019, mobile operators launched 5G services in parts of the US, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland and the UK, but it will take time for carriers to expand 5G coverage beyond major cities, Gartner said.
In the first half of 2019, several phone manufacturers released 5G-enabled smartphones. To improve slowing smartphone sales, mobile manufacturers are looking to introduce more affordable 5G-enabled phones in 2020, Gartner noted.
Gartner forecasts that combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones will total 2.2 billion units worldwide in 2019, a decline of 3.3% year over year. The mobile phone market is set to record the worst performance of these device types, declining by 3.8%.
"The current mobile phone market of 1.7 billion shipments is around 10% below the 1.9 billion shipments reached in 2015," Atwal continued. "If mobile phones don't provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users won't upgrade them, and will consequently increase these devices' life spans."
The trend for lengthening mobile phone life span began in 2018 and will continue through 2019. Gartner forecasts that high-end phone life span will increase from 2.6 years to nearly 2.9 years through 2023. Sales of smartphones will decline by 2.5% in 2019, which would be the worst decline ever, Gartner said.