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Industry breathes sigh of relief as smartphone sales expected to climb in 2020

That's a big change from last year when smartphone sales dropped for the first time in history.

Published onJanuary 28, 2020

mid range phones 2

According to a new report from venerable research firm Gartner, smartphone sales are expected to actually climb in 2020. This is in stark contrast to 2019 when smartphone shipments actually fell for the first time in the history of the smartphone.

Gartner claims that global smartphone sales in 2020 will hit 1.57 billion units, which represents a 3% increase year-over-year. In 2019, smartphone sales fell by about 2%, so this should bring the industry back to where it once was.

As one would expect, the main reason for the expected uptick in sales is thanks to the rollout of 5G networks. In order to access the new 5G speeds carriers have been advertising, consumers will need to buy 5G-capable phones. There are likely a lot of folks out there who haven’t upgraded their aging 4G LTE device because they are waiting for an affordable 5G device to land.

Thanks to Qualcomm’s mid-range 5G-powered chipsets, those devices are definitely on the way. Additionally, the slate of upcoming flagships featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 will likely all be capable of connecting to 5G networks as well, giving a wide gamut of users plenty of reasons to buy a new phone.

Related: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Kirin 990 vs Exynos 990: How do they compare?

Of course, smartphone sales globally will also be helped by Apple in 2020. The company is expected to launch more iPhones this year than it ever has, including 5G-powered variants.

The United States won’t be the primary country powering smartphone industry growth, though. Gartner posits that the Middle East, North Africa, mature Asia/Pacific countries, and Greater China (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) will be the main areas of growth.

Whatever the case, last year was a rough one for many smartphone manufacturers, so this Gartner report about smartphone sales will help CEOs sleep a little easier this evening.

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