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Global smartphone sales will reach 2 billion units in 2020

The smartphone market will grow at a 7% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, according to new study

A total of 2.04 billion mobile phones will be shipped globally this year, according to a new study by U.K.-based research firm CCS Insight.

The study revealed smartphone sales are expected to grow from 1.5 billion units this year to 2 billion units in 2020, representing a 7.2% compound annual growth rate. CCS Insight estimates 2 billion new smartphone owners will emerge over the next five years, taking the number of smartphone users from 3.1 billion in 2015, to 5.4 billion in 2020.

According to the study, the market will surge in India and other emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, where a total of almost 220 million smartphones will be sold this year. The study also forecast 85 million smartphones will be sold in the African markets in 2016.

“Despite a popular misconception that mobile phone growth has ceased, there remains a huge market opportunity. Adoption of new technology is also being boosted as users upgrade to increasingly affordable LTE-capable smartphones,” said Jasdeep Baydal, smart device analyst at CCS Insight.

The new research also confirms LTE device shipments doubled between 2014 and 2015, rising from 443 million units to 900 million units. China accounted for much of the growth, seeing LTE-capable device shipments more than triple from 93 million units to 317 million units during the period.

“LTE momentum shows no signs of abating,” the report noted. “In 2016, we expect LTE-capable devices to account for 50% of all smartphone shipments and we expect that to rise to 72% of the market by 2020”.

Feature phones make up a shrinking proportion of the market, with sales expected to slide from 550 million units in 2016 to 240 million units by 2020, according to the study.

The consultancy firm also affirmed software platforms such as BlackBerry OS, Tizen and Windows 10 Mobile will account for just 2% of the market by the end of 2016, as the dominance of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS rolls on.


Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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