The smartphone market’s growth has been at a near standstill for two years and is expected to experience more of the same in 2018; however, it could be revived by the arrival of 5G in late 2019.
As this chart from Statista shows, the largest spike the global market experienced in the last decade was in 2010, when the number of smartphone shipments went up 75% from 173.5 million units in 2009. Since then, the smartphone market has grown by progressively smaller increments, until 2016 when it only grew by 2.5%.
Last year, the smartphone market actually shrank (-0.1%) for the first time, and estimates from International Data Corporation (IDC) show the market research firm expects more of the same this year.
Next year, however, the data shows things will change for the smartphone market: The introduction of 5G, the next generation wireless technology, will drive more and more growth, and in 2022 the year-over-year change could be back to 2016 levels.