Gartner – 5G iPhones will help device growth in 2020 ahead of another slowdown

Qualcomm 5G
Qualcomm 5G (Image credit: Qualcomm)

What you need to know

  • Gartner's global device forecast has 5G iPhones driving demand.
  • 2020 will see device growth.
  • But things will slow again afterward.

Gartner believes that 2020 will be a year of device growth, according to its annual global device forecast.

Gartner looks at shipments for everything from phones to computers, and it believes that we can expect 5G iPhones to help push demand skyward in 2020 according to 9to5Mac.

The worldwide mobile phone market is on course to grow by 1.7% in 2020 […] Shipments of smartphones were weak in 2019, recording a 2% decline year over year, but are expected to grow in 2020, particularly in Greater China and emerging markets in Asia/Pacific.Gartner estimates that 5G models will account for 12% of mobile phone shipments in 2020, and that will reach 43% by 2022.

That growth will be a rare one for the market as a whole, with 5G thought to be the main driving force.

Worldwide shipments of devices — PCs, tablets and mobile phones — will total 2.16 billion units in 2020, an increase of 0.9% from 2019, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2019, global shipments of devices totaled 2.15 billion units."2020 will witness a slight market recovery," said Ranjit Atwal, research senior director at Gartner. "Increased availability of 5G handsets will boost mobile phone replacements, which will lead global device shipments to return to growth in 2020."

However, that good news is tempered by further belief that we can expect things to return to normal in 2021. Gartner expects device growth to end with a decline arriving in 2021.

With people generally keeping devices for longer and longer companies are struggling to find ways to get people to upgrade. The days of phone buyers upgrading on an annual cycle have long gone, and that's something that is impacting everyone – including Apple.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.