Appetite for 5G could drive 2021 uptick in global smartphone sales

·1-min read
Gartner predicts worldwide smartphone sales totaling 1.5 billion units in 2021.

In 2021, one in three smartphones sold worldwide -- or over 500 million handsets -- is expected to be 5G-compatible. Global sales are forecast to bounce back with 11% growth, returning to a level equivalent to 2019.

After a difficult year in 2020, with a decline of over 10% worldwide, smartphone sales are expected to pick up again to reach a level equivalent to 2019, with sales totaling 1.5 billion units. Gartner predicts 11% growth in sales year-on-year, with growth forecast across all regions.

Sales of 5G-compatible smartphones are expected to double, from 213 million in 2020 to over 538 million in 2021. The increasing availability of 5G networks in various global regions, as well as the arrival of new compatible handsets, should help drive demand in 2021, according to Gartner's experts -- with or without the pandemic. In China, 5G smartphone share is on pace to reach almost 60% in 2021, Gartner reports.

David Bénard