Just a week after the GSMA cancelled MWC2020 due to the concerns related to the coronavirus, a new report is predicting the outbreak of COVID-19, as the virus is now known, will also put a cap on 5G smartphone sales this year.
According to Strategy Analytics, 5G smartphone shipments will reach 199 million worldwide in 2020, increasing tenfold from 19 million units in 2019. 5G penetration is also forecast to rise from 1% of all smartphones shipped globally in 2019 to 15% of the total in 2020.
Table 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2020
|Global Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)||2019||2020|
|Rest of Market||1,394||1,165|
|Global Smartphone Shipments (% of Total)||2019||2020|
|Rest of Market||99%||85%|
|Source: Strategy Analytics|
However, Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, warned that although the smartphone industry is growing quickly, "the ongoing coronavirus scare and subsequent economic slowdown will put a cap on overall 5G demand this year."
Such forecasts come as little surprise, but will still send shockwaves through an industry that is banking on sales of expensive new 5G phones and services to drive future revenue. Much depends on how quickly COVID-19 can be contained. Strategy Analytics expects the first half of 2020 to be much weaker than expected for the 5G industry, "but we expect a strong bounce-back in the second half of the year if the coronavirus spread is brought under control," said Mawston.
Concerns about the spreading coronavirus have also affected work at the 3GPP on 5G standards, while telcos and vendors fear disruptions to the supply chain. Apple has also warned investors it will miss sales targets for its current, March-ending quarter, while other technology events, including the RSA security show that starts on February 24, are also being affected, though not cancelled.
For more on this topic, see:
- Deutsche Telekom CEO warns coronavirus is hitting networks supply chain
- Ericsson counts cost of coronavirus
- Apple is latest coronavirus casualty
- AT&T to stay away from RSA – Verizon too?
- MWC2020: The show won't go on
- Huawei grabs biggest share of 5G smartphone shipments in 2019
- What will drive a 5G smartphone 'super cycle'?
- Gartner predicts 221M 5G phones sold in 2020, 12% of all phones
— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading