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The global smartphone market has had the worst year in its history, primarily on account of the COVID-19 pandemic that has decimated discretionary spending while simultaneously disrupting consumer electronics supply chains. Total shipments have seen the biggest drops in history throughout 2020, with some markets like India even getting cut in half.
Some smartphone manufacturers have already started to release handsets equipped with 5G, and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) highly anticipated foray into 5G this year could help save the market.
Image source: Getty Images.
Bouncing back in 2021
Canalys released its latest estimates for the worldwide smartphone industry this week, with total unit volumes for 2020 expected to decline by 11%. Total 5G smartphone shipments this year are forecast to be approximately 280 million, driven by relatively affordable 5G handsets being sold in China, the largest smartphone market in the world. Hopefully, 5G product releases at the end of 2020 will spur momentum heading into 2021, when total volumes should bounce back by 10% to 1.3 billion.
“Gradual reopening of offline stores, improving logistics and production have provided necessary uplift for most markets to move into a more stabilized second half of 2020,” Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said in the release. “And with the holiday season about to kick …
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