Smartphone shipments will grow from 1.5 billion in 2017 to 1.7 billion units in 2021 – achieving a 3 percent CAGR, according to IDC.
Smartphones with screen size of 5.5 inches to <7 inches or phablets will be growing from 611 million in 2017 to 1 billion in 2021, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1 percent. Phablets, which were 1 percent of the total smartphone shipments in 2012, will be touching 50 percent of the market a few years later.
Normal smartphones with less than 5.5 inches screen size will decline 7.4 percent.
China, which consumed 50 percent of the 437.4 million phablets shipped in 2016, will remain the largest market for large-screen smartphones and to grow at a CAGR of 12.6 percent.
“Consumers consume video entertainment, gaming, social media, and other data-heavy applications on their smartphones making the display size and type a critical factor in smartphone buying,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
Apple has made a push into the phablet space and IDC expects its Plus and X devices to account for 41.2 percent of its shipment volume in 2017 and 50 percent or more of Apple’s iPhone shipments in 2018.
The latest flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, Google, LG, and others has pushed the high end to the $850-plus level for the first time. Despite these price hikes, consumers look as if they are willing to swallow the cost just to have the latest and greatest device in their pockets.
Smartphones will reach an ASP of $317 by 2021 from $282 in 2016, representing a CAGR of 2.3 percent.