Worldwide smartphone revenues are set for a significant recovery in 2021, as pent-up demand, a wider macroeconomic improvement, and the wider availability of 5G networks and handsets, drive the market.

The smartphone sector has been hit by Covid-19 due to economic and production challenges that had caused supply issues and lowered demand. However, the easing of lockdown measures around the world has laid the foundations for a revival.

Strategy Analytics believes global wholesale revenues will increase by 13% during 2021 – the highest revenue growth for six years.

Smartphone revenues

“Economic recovery following COVID-19 related lockdowns globally, overdue replacement of aging devices and higher component prices, as well as migration towards 5G, are all going to contribute to the revenue growth in 2021,” explained Boris Metodiev, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics.

“We expect global smartphone sales volume will grow + 7% YoY at 1.4 billion units, and global smartphone wholesale average selling price (ASP) will grow +6% to US$294 in 2021, resulting in smartphone wholesale revenue exceeding US$400 billion,” added Linda Sui, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics.

“We expect the ultra-premium segment (US$600 wholesale and above) to perform particularly well due to iPhone 12’s super cycle, and to contribute to almost half of the overall wholesale revenues this year.”

Although analysts are positive in their outlook, there is still considerable uncertainty, with many countries at different stages of their wider recovery. Manufacturers are also having to contend with a component shortage. It is thought the situation will be back to normal early next year, but until then, it could be that the mid-range segment is disproportionately affected.

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