iPhone 11 ProSource: Joseph Keller / iMore

What you need to know

  • Global smartphone shipments could grow by double-digits in 2021.
  • That's according to the latest research from DigiTimes.
  • A new report says Apple and Samsung will secure the top-two positions as vendors over the next year.

A new report says that the global smartphone market may reverse three years of consecutive decline for the first time in 2021.

According to DigiTimes:

Following three consecutive years of declines in 2018-2020, global smartphone shipments are expected to grow by a double-digit rate or 150 million units in 2021, bolstered by renewed efforts to build infrastructure and accelerate commercial operations for 5G in Japan, Western Europe, and the US, according to Digitimes Research.

The report says that demand over the next five years will be fuelled like 5G phones such as the iPhone 12, thanks to the growing number of 5G networks and expanding coverage.

The report says that entry-level 5G and 4G devices will be important in driving global smartphone shipments and that entry-level shipments are expected to reach 1.5 billion units in 2023, and 1.7 billion in 2025.

According to the report, Apple and Samsung are expected to secure the top-two positions in 2021, followed by rivals like Oppo and Xiaomi. Bad news for Huawei, DigiTimes expects US trade sanctions to push the firm down to seventh place in shipments.

DigiTimes says it expects 200 million 5G phones to be shipped in 2020, but that this number will explode to more than 1.2 billion units by 2025.

The outlook is an encouraging sign for Apple, which is widely expected to unveil its first-ever 5G iPhone, the iPhone 12, at its October 13 'Hi, Speed' event next week.