iPhone shipments to drop 15% in 2019 but bounce back in 2020, says IDC

What you need to know

  • A new report by IDC predicts iPhone sales to drop 15% in 2019
  • The decrease is due to "market maturity" and lack of 5G devices
  • Shipments are expected to grow again in 2020 from the introduction of 5G iPhones

Analytics firm International Data Corporation, or IDC, is out with a new report detailing their lookout for the smartphone industry fot the rest of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020. Reported by 9to5Mac, they predict that iPhone shipments will continue to drop through the rest of 2019 in comparison to last year, due to market saturation, lack of 5G, and the fact that consumers continue to delay upgrading their phones for longer.

2019 will remain a challenging year for iPhone shipments with volumes expected to drop to 177.9 million, down 14.8% year over year, mostly due to market maturity as well as a lack of 5G devices. However, Apple is likely to deliver 5G handsets later in 2020, which will pick up iOS volumes slightly as it will have an edge over other vendors with a better understanding of 5G market conditions for a much more planned launch.

That decline should see a turnaround in 2020, according to the firm. Apple is expected to include 5G in next years' iPhones, and the expansion of the technology paired with its availability in new models should cause sales volume increase for a longly stale market. While they do not believe that 5G alone will cause some kind of revolutionary skyrocket in sales for the smartphone industry, they do recognize it as a major step in mobile innovation that could spark a new era of growth for Apple and its competitors.

IDC expects 5G shipments to reach 8.9% of smartphones shipped in 2020, accounting for 123.5 million devices shipped. This is expected to grow to 28.1% of worldwide smartphone shipments by 2023.

In the meantime, Apple's Special Event kicks off on Tuesday, September 10th at 10:00 AM PDT, where we are expecting to see new iPhones, new Apple Watches, and more. If you'd like to read the report for yourself, you can do so at IDC's website.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.