5G Smartphone Shipments for 2020 Estimated to Be Less Than 200 Million Units, Claims New Research

Feb 18, 2020 01:11 EST
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According to fresh DigiTimes research, 5G smartphone shipments for 2020 won’t cross 200 million units, and that’s not the most worrying part. With the coronavirus epidemic being factored into all of this, it’s possible that the situation ends up becoming more severe.

New Research Also Predicts That Global Phone Shipments Will Reach 1.278 Billion Units, Resulting in a Drop

Less than 200 million smartphones are expected to be 5G-ready from the aforementioned tally, suggesting that 2020 wasn’t going to be the year when 5G-powered handsets would sell in droves. That doesn’t mean the industry hasn’t gained traction, but there are a lot of things holding it back. For example, a large percentage of phone makers don’t use their own silicon or 5G modem for the matter. Qualcomm’s tactic of selling its Snapdragon 865 without an embedded modem would appear ruthless to a lot of critics, but it’s still a smart business move.

5G Smartphone Shipments for 2020 to Make up 15 Percent of the Global Market, Says New Research

Unfortunately, manufacturers that want to make their models attain that ‘5G-ready status’ will also have to purchase a standalone modem such as the Snapdragon X55. This would mean incurring a number of internal changes to smartphone models, which will add to the retail price. This is expected to discourage consumer spending, particularly those looking for a flagship. However, it’s the mid-range market that’s expected to gain momentum thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765, which does feature an embedded, albeit slower 5G modem.

While the increase in pricing might be one reason why 5G smartphone shipments for 2020 might not pick up, the adverse impact of the coronavirus outbreak on China and around the world is also a determining factor. According to the research, the base-case scenario is that even if the virus gets under control by the end of February, and factory resumption rates continue to rise, there’s still trouble on the horizon. With an optimistic outlook is set, China's top-four handset brands are still expected to see an annual smartphone shipment drop of 19.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

DigiTimes will most likely monitor the situation in the coming months, but it does comment that the global market, including 5G smartphone shipments for 2020 will tumble further if the coronavirus outbreak isn’t contained.

Here’s some more 5G-related coverage that you might like to check out.

News Source: DigiTimes

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