5G to Propel Resurgence in Smart Phone Growth
Smart phones will continue to decline for the third straight year
in 2019, but the advent of 5G will help propel mobile device growth at least
through 2023, according to a new market forecast.
According to a report released by IDC, smart phone shipments will
decline slightly in 2019 compared with 2018, off 0.8 percent to 1.39
billion devices shipped worldwide. But new innovations, such as foldable
screens and 5G, will help drive single-digit growth for the next four
According to IDC: “The current year is expected to witness a new high for
technological innovation with the introduction of foldable devices and 5G
smartphones. Marketing buzz around 5G is in its early stages but expected
to ramp up quickly. And while use cases for upgrading to a 5G
device/service remain unclear, it is evident that after 2019 the adoption
will begin to attain significant numbers. IDC currently expects 5G
smartphone shipments to account for roughly 1 out of every 4 smartphones
shipped globally in 2023.”
In 2019, 5G phones will account for just 0.5 percent of all phone
shipments, or 6.7 million units. By 2023, they will account for 26 percent
of shipments, or 401.3 million units.
5G phones will experience an annual growth rate of 23.9 percent over the
forecast period of the report, while 4G phones (the current generation)
will decline 4.4 percent annually.
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).