Smartphone shipments could drop almost 10% this year, says IDC

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Worldwide smartphone shipments could fall 9.5% this year given pressures from the pandemic, according to market-research company IDC. Shipments fell 17% from a year earlier in the second quarter, with the market showing “visible signs of economic concerns.” IDC said in a release that before the pandemic, analysts expected a return to growth in smartphone sales that is “obviously not going to happen.” While analysts predict a 9% year-over-year increase in volumes for 2021, “that is only due to the large drop in 2020,” said IDC research director Nabila Popal in the release. “The real recovery won’t happen until 2022 when smartphone volumes return to pre-COVID levels.” Though there’s some hype around 5G devices especially with Apple Inc. expected to introduce its first 5G-enabled iPhones later this year, IDC program vice president Ryan Reith said in the release that IDC analysts “still believe that consumer demand for 5G is very low and when that is combined with the economic headwinds facing the market, the pressure to drive down hardware and service fees associated with 5G will become increasingly important.”
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