5g phone box

Smartphone shipments are rebounding, according to a new smartphone shipments forecast from International Data Corp (IDC). 

According to the (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone shipments rebounded in the third quarter and are expected to grow sightly (2.4%) in the last quarter. Shipments had plummeted in the early days of the pandemic, as Telecompetitor reported.

Developed countries in North America and Western Europe are expected to benefit from the holiday season, though the very high-end phones aren’t expected to command much in the way of sales.

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By next year, growth is expected to rise to 4.4% as carriers and manufacturers start adding incentives to 5G-capable devices. IDC expects 5G smartphone shipments to reach close to 10% of global volume for the full year, and to grow significantly — 29% — by 2024 as demand for the technology grows and prices for the devices drop. 

The research firm expects average sales prices of the devices to drop from $611 today to $453 in 2024. Asia, particularly China, will tend to have the lowest priced devices throughout the five-year period.

“Competitive pricing will play an integral role in shaping 5G development,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a prepared statement about the smartphone shipments forecast. “The COVID-19 crisis has influenced consumer behavior by tilting it toward more budget-friendly devices and narrowing the spend for essentials only. Aggressive promotions and more affordable 5G devices from major smartphone vendors are expected to partially offset the impact in the near term.”

“Despite concerns around weakness in 5G demand, smartphone volumes exceeded the forecast in the third quarter, and supply-side momentum headed into the holiday quarter and 2021 remains strong,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a prepared statement. “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.”

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