23 April 2020
Smartphone sales to fall 21% in 2020, with extension in device lifecycles impacting upgrade volumes for 5G
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on mobile operator planning in relation to 5G services in 2020, notes market research firm Strategy Analytics in a a new blog ‘Should Mobile Operators Push Back 5G Plans to 2021?’. COVID-19’s rapid spread continues to disrupt economies around the world, with the magnitude of the effects of this disruption likely to grow while there are no signs of any short-term solution to fixing the problem. Strategy Analytics forecasts that smartphone sales will fall 21% this year, with an extension in device lifecycles impacting upgrade volumes for 5G. However, 2020 will not be a lost year for 5G, and there are many positive signs both in terms of 5G growth potential and its ability to support initiatives tackling the coronavirus, the firm reckons.
In the blog, author Phil Kendall (executive director Service Provider Group) discusses the following:
- Continued 5G commercial network launches since late February, most notably in Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand, with accelerated 5G CapEx in China and the USA.
- Recent 5G smartphone launches from Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, TCL and Samsung in the $340-500 range.
- The positive contribution that 5G has made to the COVID-19 response in some markets, most notably in supporting connectivity for emergency healthcare facilities in China and for supporting remote education and home working in other markets.
- The role of 5G in supporting economic recovery, with governments in China, Hungary and South Korea all looking to 5G operators to play their part in stimulating industries post-crisis.