The sale of smartphones to end users is forecast to grow at 11.4 percent to 1.5 billion units in 2021, due to delayed smartphone replacements and the availability of lower end 5G smartphones, Gartner said on Wednesday.
Sale of 5G smartphones will total 539 million units worldwide in 2021, accounting for 35 percent of total smartphone sales.
The global smartphone business fell 10.5 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic on the industry.
Markets like Asia Pacific, Western Europe, and Latin America are expected to exhibit the strongest growth between 2020 and 2021.
Demand in emerging countries will be driven by buyers looking for a smartphone with better specifications and a 5G connectivity as an optional feature.
5G is now a standard feature in premium smartphones, especially in the US, China, Japan and South Korea, Anshul Gupta, senior research director at Gartner, said.
Driven by lower-cost models, adoption is particularly aggressive in China, where 5G smartphone share is on pace to reach 59.5 percent in 2021.
Lower end 5G smartphones, which are becoming prevalent outside China, are poised to drive more momentum for 5G smartphones in 2021 across all regions.