2020 Mobile Industry Predictions

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The smartphone market seems to be ready for a turnaround: After several quarters of stagnation, IDC, predicts that, despite a slight contraction of 0.4% in the second half of 2019, shipments will return to grow, even if only by 1.6 percentage points in 2020.

The data for the current year has been positive, and only in the second quarter, there was an estimated drop between 1.2%. The drop is due both to the contraction in demand and the economic tensions between China and the United States. There are a lot of researches in different languages on this topic. If you want to deepen your knowledge on this issue with foreign studies, then The Word Point translation service is the right way to get all research materials in your native language.

 5G Will Push the Market

We will need to rely on 5G to return to see a plus sign on the smartphone market. The signs are excellent, with the new generation standard already activated in several countries (including Italy) and with the first compatible devices available for purchase (Note 10 Plus 5G, V50 ThinQ 5G (Review) and Oppo Reno 5G, to provide some examples).

Image Source: Pexels

If 2019 can be considered year 0 for 5G smartphones, 2020 will be the definitive boom: By next year, 9 out of 100 smartphones shipped will be 5G, for a total (estimated) of more than 123 million units. The trend will be proliferating: By 2023, 5G smartphones will be almost one in three.

To be clear, we do not think 5G will be the saviour of the smartphone market, but we consider it a crucial evolution in mobile technology, as specified in the IDC report. The research firm also believes it is very probable that in the short term — 2020, if not earlier — several mid-range smartphones compatible with the 5G sub-6GHz network will enter the market.

Androids will grow by 1.7 percentage points between now and 2023 (CAGR, compound annual growth rate): in 2019 are expected 1.19 billion smartphones shipped with Google’s operating system, in line with the values of the previous year but with a market share that rises from 85.1% in 2018 to 87% and that will reach 87.4% in 2023. The average price will also grow, from 254 dollars to 263 dollars (+ 3.2%).

Different forecast for iOS, whose shipments are expected to drop by 14.8% (from 186.6 million to 177.9 million). CAGR 2018-23 will decline by 2.2%. Apple probably pays for the lack of 5G, which is, however, destined to be integrated into the next generations.

2019 has become a landmark year for mobile devices. There was a 20-per cent increase in consumer spending during the first three quarters of the year. Subscription-based services and games will also boost earnings. Global spending on mobile advertising will reach $240 billion in 2020, compared with $190 billion in 2019.

We analyze two critical trends in the development of mobile technologies here.

 1. Foldable phones

Apple is going to launch foldable iPhones or iPads by 2021 The idea of a foldable smartphone has sparked a high interest. We have seen conceptual images for both a foldable iPhone and a foldable iPad.

 2. Streaming wars

Analysts at App Annie predict that in 2020, users of mobile phones running on the Android OS will spend 674 billion hours on content from the Entertainment and Video Player and Editor categories (in 2019, this figure was 558 billion hours.). Most of the time spent was on YouTube and Netflix. However, new market players will also want to get a piece of this pie.

For example, Disney +. Although the library of this service is small — 500 films and 7,000 separate TV episodes — fans of Marvel will ensure its success. Besides, Disney is investing in new, original content, such as the Mandalorese series, based on the Star Wars storyline.

But despite all these factors, Disney + along with other competitors, such as Apple TV +, HBO Max and Peacock, will have to create products that form the audience’s habits (as Netflix did by creating the interactive film, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, based on the plots of Black Mirror). Partnerships will also help shape user habits (a good example is Disney and Verizon.).

In the struggle for consumer attention and time, streaming platforms will face competitors such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, applications that blur the line between social networks and entertainment. This is especially true for an audience aged 16 to 22 years, the so-called Generation Z.

In the short term, new streaming services are expected to stimulate growth in downloads and use of content and revenue growth, as consumers will actively use these new services. In addition, new partnerships will be created, which will lead to the formation of new subscription packages.

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