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Smartphone sales expected to grow by 11 percent in 2021, 5G phones to play key role: Gartner

35 percent of the total smartphone sold in 2021 are expected to be 5G-enabled phones.

As 5G continues to be available via more flagship as well as affordable midrange devices, the demand for newer smartphones is expected to go up in 2021. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

2020 was a rough year for various businesses. These include smartphones and other tech products as the initial months of the Coronavirus pandemic saw fewer people willing to spend money on new devices. However, according to a new report by Gartner, smartphone sales are expected to grow by over 11 per cent year-on-year in 2021.

The report adds that worldwide sales in 2021 could total 1.5 billion units, which is a growth of 11.4 per cent. Smartphone sales had seen a decline of 10.5 per cent in 2020 during the pandemic and the growth will be a good rebound for the industry.  The strongest growth in the year 2021 is expected to come from Asia Pacific, Western Europe, and Latin America.

5G to play key role in growth

As smartphones equipped with 5G network capabilities continue to become more affordable and accessible to users, more people are expected to buy these devices. This should drive sales up, closer to the numbers seen in 2019, suggests the report.

“The combination of delayed smartphone replacements and the availability of lower end 5G smartphones are poised to increase smartphone sales in 2021,” Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner said in a press statement.

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In markets where 5G is an emerging technology, the demand for phones with better specifications and 5G capabilities is expected to grow this year. 539 million units of 5G smartphones are expected to be sold in 2021, which will represent 35 percent of the total sales.

“5G is now a standard feature in premium smartphones, especially in the US, China, Japan and South Korea,” Gupta said.

“Driven by lower-cost models, adoption is particularly aggressive in China, where 5G smartphone share is on pace to reach 59.5% in 2021. In addition, lower end 5G smartphones, which are becoming more prevalent outside China, are poised to drive more momentum for 5G smartphones in 2021 across all regions,” he added.

First published on: 05-02-2021 at 15:27 IST
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