A graphic showing 5G on a white background

The analyst IDC has forecast that the global smartphone market will return to growth during the fourth quarter after it had a stronger third quarter than was expected. It said the smartphone market will see 2.4% growth year-over-year in the 4Q20 and 4.4% growth year-over-year in 2021.

The growth will be facilitated by quick supply chain recovery and consumer interest in 5G handsets. With more people forced to suspend travel, they’re looking for other means to spend and in many cases, consumers are turning their attention to consumer electronics.

Commenting on the findings, Ryan Reith the program vice president at IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said:

“Despite concerns around weakness in 5G demand, smartphone volumes exceeded the forecast in 3Q20 and supply-side momentum headed into the holiday quarter and 2021 remains strong. We’ve come to the conclusion that despite on-going lockdowns and economic concerns, consumers in many markets around the world have shifted their normal spending from things like travel, dining out, and general leisure to things like consumer electronics. Smartphones happen to be a benefactor of this transition.”

Interestingly, IDC’s forecast shows that 4G devices will still make up the bulk of shipments in 2022 and while falling behind in 2023 and 2024, they will still make up a significant amount of shipments. The analyst said that 5G will become more popular as manufacturers lower costs and make them more accessible to consumers.


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