Within four years, more than half of all phones shipped worldwide will support next-generation, super-fast 5G networks, according to a new report from research and advisory firm Gartner.
To improve slowing smartphone sales, mobile manufacturers are looking to introduce more affordable 5G-enabled phones from 2020, Gartner said.
Next year, 5G-capable phones will represent 6% of total sales of phones, the company said. “As 5G service coverage increases, user experience will improve and prices will decrease. The leap will occur in 2023 when we expect 5G phones to account for 51% of phone sales.”
Gartner forecasts that 7% of operators worldwide will have a commercially viable wireless 5G service by next year. “This will mark significant progress from the 5G proofs of concept and commercial network construction in 2018.”
Earlier this year, mobile operators launched 5G services in parts of the US, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland and the UK, but it will take time for carriers to expand 5G coverage beyond major cities, it said.
The uptick in demand for 5G devices isn’t likely to provide immediate comfort, however, to an industry that will experience a decline in shipments in 2019, Gartner said. It expects the mobile phone market will slump by 3.8% this year.
“The current mobile phone market of 1.7 billion shipments is around 10% below the 1.9 billion shipments reached in 2015,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “If mobile phones don’t provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users won’t upgrade them, and will consequently increase these devices’ lifespans.”
Worldwide shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — will total 2.2 billion units in 2019, a decline of 3.3% year over year, according to Gartner.
“The trend for lengthening mobile phone lifespan began in 2018 and will continue through 2019. Gartner predicts that high-end phone lifespan will increase from 2.6 years to nearly 2.9 years through to 2023.”
Gartner estimates that sales of smartphones will decline by 2.5% in 2019, which would be “the worst decline ever”.
While worldwide PC shipments totalled 63 million units and grew by 1.5% in the second quarter of 2019, there is still uncertainty for PC demand in 2019, the company said.
PC shipments are estimated to total 257 million units in 2019, a 1% decline from 2018. “The ongoing trade dispute between the US and China — and potential imposition of tariffs — are likely to impact the PC market this year.”
Following a strong Windows 10 migration among businesses in the second quarter of 2019, Gartner analysts expect that 75% of the business PC installed base will have migrated to Windows 10 by early 2021. — © 2019 NewsCentral Media