Smartphone shipments keep growing thanks to emerging markets, 5G, and Apple

midian182

Posts: 7,143   +63
Staff member
In brief: Despite the global chip shortage, smartphone shipments are expected to increase 7.4% this year to reach 1.37 billion units. Much of that came from iOS devices, which saw almost double the growth of Android smartphones.

Research firm IDC writes that Apple devices will show an impressive 13.8% growth in 2021, while Android should reach 6.2%. The upward trend in overall shipments is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace, across the next few years: 3.4% in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

It's important to note that the pandemic had a substantial negative impact on smartphone shipments last year, but the 2021 predictions still show slight growth compared to 2019. Shipments in the world's largest markets—China, the United States, and Western Europe—are set to be down from two years ago. However, emerging markets such as India, Japan, the Middle East, and Africa are helping offset the falling figures.

"The smartphone market was better prepared from a supply chain perspective heading into 2020 given almost all regions were expecting to grow and vendors were preparing accordingly," said Ryan Reith, group vice president with IDC's Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "2020 was a bust due to the pandemic but all of the top brands continued forward with their production plans with the main difference that the timeline was pushed out. Therefore, we are at a point where inventory levels are much healthier than PCs and some other adjacent markets and we are seeing the resilience of consumer demand in recent quarterly results."

5G devices can take a lot of the credit for the uptick in shipments. The handsets have a higher average selling price (ASP) than 4G phones, and with the latter's ASP continuing to decline, 5G shipments are set to grow 123.4% to 570 million units this year. China continues to lead the way with a 47.1% share of the 5G market, followed by the US with 16%. By the end of next year, 5G units are predicted to make up more than half of all smartphone shipments, boasting a 54.1% share.

IDC writes that shipments for phones priced over $1,000 saw 116% growth in Q2 compared to the same quarter last year, which isn't too surprising given the lockdowns and concerns many had over their jobs. 2021 has also seen the AVG of phones increase 9% as more buyers opt for expensive 5G models.

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DZillaXx

Posts: 373   +494
Doesn't help that these service provider stores like to push flagship phones onto people that can barely affords the base monthly fee. Too often do you see people rocking the latest and greatest phone while they are a payment behind on both their car and mortgage. With ZERO savings and little to no retirement investments.

Honestly I see more poorer folk with flagship phones than successful folk. Phones these days easily last longer than 2 years. People like that account for about 40% of Apple's user base, and we all know Apple will lobby with all their might to keep the uninformed buying their crap.
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 690   +875
"More people are buying $1,000+ handsets"

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kiwigraeme

Posts: 542   +417
I don't get it - I can easily afford a $1000 plus phone - but I have absolutely no desire to buy one - it's not a pc for me, would just game casually at most. My cheaper phone does pretty good video and photos.
I know folks like QR it make sense for his work - plus someone who heavily uses their phone gaming/video/consumption etc - I get it - they get value .

But most people are light gamers , their photos are mainly snapshots etc.
I also get the some folks get unlimited 4g/5g and it's their streamer, internet device, hotspot etc - but I still seriously doubt most flagship users are hardcore users .
I like the fact I don't baby my phone , glass screen, some gel/plastic/rubber case on bottom and that's it - throw it around, in pocket with keys , tools, wrench whatever . TBF my home and content insurance probably pays for losing it off a bridge or theft out and about - but for some people paying it off - may not have that cover .
Plus if you struggle to pay it off - it shows you as a mark to be taken by salesmen and less savoury . Oh well is a free world .
Plus I too old - not/never trying to pretend I'm rich and have potential- still a few of those guys will make the basic mistake - cheap shoes .
 

Aceseven

Posts: 89   +154
These comments are odd, maybe there just are people who can afford and do want the latest and greatest in tech, these companies aren't making this stuff for nothing. have you all looked around? at least where I live there's no houses available and nonstop construction on new apt's and businesses, so people are making money and working hard as always, truthfully right now is the perfect time to snag a sweet job since alot of folks dont wanna work hard.

sure the news constantly pounds the 'everyone is poor while the rich fly into space' narrative, but for alot of people(me included) if you've been working and aiming higher you can easily snag a fancy phone and still have savings and whatever else is required to be an adult.

it's alot of doom and gloom out here but not everywhere.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 373   +494
These comments are odd, maybe there just are people who can afford and do want the latest and greatest in tech, these companies aren't making this stuff for nothing. have you all looked around? at least where I live there's no houses available and nonstop construction on new apt's and businesses, so people are making money and working hard as always, truthfully right now is the perfect time to snag a sweet job since alot of folks dont wanna work hard.

sure the news constantly pounds the 'everyone is poor while the rich fly into space' narrative, but for alot of people(me included) if you've been working and aiming higher you can easily snag a fancy phone and still have savings and whatever else is required to be an adult.

it's alot of doom and gloom out here but not everywhere.

Its not that some people can't afford it, its just that for most these phones are bought with payment plans. And if they had to buy the phone outright they would no be able to do so. Its the same reason why lower income individuals nearly always carry credit card debt and have little to no retirement funds. When you consider most households have a combined income of under 60K a year, flexing with flagship phones is not really a sound financial decision. There are more households making under 70K rocking flagship phones than there are that make over 70K.

As a millennial I've found that my peers tend to stick with one of two paths. Save as much money as they can, or Spend everything they can with minimal to no retirement planning. I for one know the power of money and what it does for you. Money will make you more Money, and having more is the only way to scale that process up. Many of my "higher" earning peers in their 30s seem to care more about their 401k and shoving money into their investment accounts than getting new toys. Working on your Home as always been a thing, doing the correct improvements nearly always adds value to your home. In my area it's rare for one of my peers to make over 160k, and making 120k will afford a nice life with a basic home and not much more.

Right now new Construction is mostly smaller homes and Apartment building. Simply because a new tiny 1400-1600sqft home is going for 280k and a new small Apartment can be rented for $1200-1400 a month without issue. Simply not enough homes to handle the boom of Gen-Z kids moving out as well as millennials buying their first home. As for those who've had home and are looking to move upward, the lack of homes to look at and the 10-20% over asking prices people are putting in over asking price make it really had to justify moving up. As if you have a home worth 300k and looking at 500k homes, there just isn't the inventory and at the same time you are going up against a couple dozen other individuals looking to do the same. And if your home needs work, well that is extremely costly ATM. Further keeping people away from wanting to sell. Right now is the era of refinancing your home and waiting for the new home market to catch back up. As in the past building a new large home was always a good option when moving up in life.

I still rock my Note 9 and I honestly don't see a lot of higher paid individuals even caring about their phone. If it continues to be fast and not broken they continue to use it. Even if they are into tech. The idea is not to fake it till you make it. There is a reason why many Rich people drive around in decade old trucks/cars, live in modest homes, etc. They don't need to fake it.

Apple's followers are notorious for Fake it till you make it mentality. Racking up CC Debt so they can rock the newest iPhone among their peers.

And while there are a crap ton of entry level jobs more than willing to pay someone 15-25/hr. If you are looking to make 30-40/hr (or 75-100k a year), these jobs tend to require a basic skillset. And Over 100K/year tends to require a specialized skillset. I have a Hard time justifying a new phone even with a six figure household income. Which these days is starting to border back into lower middle class.
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,849   +2,208
My phone has 5G, but I keep it turned off. Hell, 4G LTE is "good enough" for what I use,
and I'd rather have a bit longer battery life.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 542   +417
These comments are odd, maybe there just are people who can afford and do want the latest and greatest in tech, these companies aren't making this stuff for nothing. have you all looked around? at least where I live there's no houses available and nonstop construction on new apt's and businesses, so people are making money and working hard as always, truthfully right now is the perfect time to snag a sweet job since alot of folks dont wanna work hard.

sure the news constantly pounds the 'everyone is poor while the rich fly into space' narrative, but for alot of people(me included) if you've been working and aiming higher you can easily snag a fancy phone and still have savings and whatever else is required to be an adult.

it's alot of doom and gloom out here but not everywhere.

I get it - rich, DINKys , kids left home etc - but when you see some young people with Flagship phones, brand new cars on loan etc - poor life choices.
For us tech guys - most new phones are boring - after a few days so what - it's just a tool - admittedly a higher use thantools brought at the home depot ( apparently DIY tools in the USA have a productive live of a few hours or more ).
I get it life is hard for some - but when you see people talking about hardship, student debt etc & they have the latest phone - hard to be sympathetic.
as I stated - people can do what they want.

It only gets interesting is in countries that reward spenders or fiscally irresponsible ie
when you see those on higher incomes who have squander everything - entitled to govt help as have no money - and some family earning half that - getting none as have money in the bank .

eg Student debt relief - some poor people who worked their butts off in holidays &/or part-time jobs, No fancy lattes, Aspen, Cancun, Jackson Hole , spring break ,gadgets/car and LOTS of alcohol - must be a bit annoyed
 
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Reehahs

Posts: 1,265   +935
The phone line-up below flagship model is usually gimped in a silly way. It is often better to buy an older flagship model then it is to buy a midrange handset of current generation. Let's not even talk about the low end phones.