While mobile phone shipments are expected to decline 7.1 percent in 2022, smartphone shipments are estimated to decrease 5.8 percent, Gartner report said.
Regionally, Greater China will be hit the hardest with smartphone shipments on pace to decline 18.3 percent in 2022.
Greater China has been leading the adoption of 5G phones over the last two years. The collapse of the smartphone market in the region will mean a 2 percent decline in 5G phone shipments in 2022, after growing 65 percent in 2021.
“At the beginning of the year, the Greater China 5G phone market was expected to show double-digit growth,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner. “The impact of China’s zero tolerance COVID-19 policy and resulting lockdowns have reversed this trend. Large numbers of consumers stopped buying non-essential items including 5G smartphones.”
In 2022, Gartner expects worldwide 5G smartphone shipments will total 710 million units, registering 29 percent increase from 2021.
“The growth rate in 5G smartphone shipments is significantly down from an expected increase of 47 percent at the start of the year, with a resulting loss of 95 million 5G phone shipments,” Ranjit Atwal said.
The demand for 5G smartphones is expected to pick up at a faster pace in 2023. “Much of the migration to 5G will occur by default as users will replace older 4G smartphones at the end of their life cycle with 5G-compatible smartphones.