Global shipments of devices, including PCs, tablets and mobile phones, will total 2.2 billion units in 2019, a decline of 3.3 percent year-over-year (YoY), a report by Gartner Inc. said on Friday.
The mobile phone market is set to record the worst performance of these device types, declining by 3.8 percent.
“The current mobile phone market of 1.7 billion shipments is around 10 percent below the 1.9 billion shipments reached in 2015. If mobile phones don’t provide significant new utility, efficiency or experiences, users won’t upgrade them and will consequently increase these devices’ life spans,” Ranjit Atwal, Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.
The trend for lengthening mobile phone life span began in 2018 and would continue through 2019.
According to the market research firm, the high-end phone life span would increase from 2.6 years to nearly 2.9 years through 2023 and sales of smartphones would decline by 2.5 percent in 2019, which would be the worst decline ever.
By 2020, seven percent of global communications service providers would have a commercially viable wireless 5G service.
In the first half of 2019, several phone manufacturers released 5G-enabled smartphones. To improve slowing smartphone sales, mobile manufacturers are looking to introduce more affordable 5G-enabled phones in 2020.
“In 2020, 5G-capable phones will represent six percent of the total sales of phones. As 5G service coverage increases, the user experience will improve and prices will decrease. The leap will occur in 2023 when we expect 5G phones to account for 51 percent of phone sales,” said Atwal.