• The newest IDC projections for the smartphone industry show significant growth starting after the downturn of this year.
  • The three biggest factors for growth will be India, 5G, and phones with large displays.
  • In 2022, the IDC projects the industry will churn out 1.654 billion smartphones.


The International Data Corporation (IDC) just published its projected analysis of the smartphone market from now through 2022. Overall, the IDC expects the market to spiral down slightly throughout the rest of 2018, but then begin a steady climb next year.

The three primary factors the IDC cites as driving future smartphone industry growth will be the Indian market, 5G technology, and phones with displays larger than six inches.

Overall, the IDC’s report hypothesizes that smartphone shipments in 2018 will likely amount to 1.462 billion units, a 0.2 percent drop from last year’s 1.465 billion units. However, shipments will rise steadily starting in 2019 eventually reaching 1.654 billion units in 2022.

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The biggest region for growth will be India, as local manufacturing is ramping up (even though China is still supplying most parts). India’s developing market calls for budget-friendly devices that will likely be citizens’ first smartphone – sometimes even their first device that will access the internet at all.

Since Android price points can be so much lower than iOS devices, the IDC doesn’t anticipate any change to the global disbursement of the two mobile operating systems. Android will stay at 85% of the market, with iOS taking the remainder. It would take a significantly cheaper iPhone to alter those numbers.

The other growth catalyst will be 5G technology. The IDC expects 5G devices to account for roughly seven percent of all smartphones by 2020, and 18 percent by 2022. The chart below shows just how fast 5G is expected to permeate the market:

A chart from the IDC that projects smartphone sales from 2018 through 2022. IDC

Finally, the IDC expects smartphones with larger displays (six inches and up) to push up the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones. In 2017, the ASP of smartphones was $313, and that number is expected to rise to $345 in 2018. By 2022, the ASP of a smartphone will be $362. The primary factor for that growth will be smartphones with larger displays fetching premium prices as compared to those with smaller screens.

The IDC estimates that 98 percent of Android phones will have displays larger than five inches by 2022. In comparison, it’s expected that 36 percent of all iPhones shipped by 2022 will have 6-inch or larger displays.

You can read the full IDC report here.

NEXT: For the first time ever, smartphone sales go down year-over-year

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