Smartphone Market Projected to Rebound in 2024, IDC Reports

After enduring a series of setbacks over the past several years, the global smartphone market is poised for a resurgence in 2024, according to the latest forecast by the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
IDC forecast on smartphone business in 2024IDC analysts, according to the report, anticipate global smartphone shipments will reach 1.2 billion in 2024, marking a 2.8 percent growth. This uptick in smartphone shipments is expected to continue with low single-digit growth rates through 2028, signaling a promising trajectory for the industry.

Ryan Reith, Group Vice President of IDC’s Worldwide Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, acknowledged the challenging journey for the smartphone market, particularly in the years leading up to the pandemic.

Despite ongoing macroeconomic challenges, several device categories, including personal computers, are experiencing a return to growth. Ryan Reith emphasized that while smartphones remain the dominant device for most consumers, factors such as rising prices and enhanced durability have led to longer replacement cycles, tempering new shipment growth.

The recovery of the smartphone business hinges on factors such as device replacement cycles and burgeoning demand in emerging markets. However, recent technological advancements have injected new vitality into the industry.

Foldable smartphones, in particular, have seen rapid growth, with an anticipated 37 percent year-over-year increase and shipments reaching 25 million units in 2024. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a pivotal driver, sparking interest in next-generation AI experiences integrated into handheld devices.

Nabila Popal, Research Director with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, underscored the willingness of consumers to invest in higher-priced smartphones. Popal noted that innovations in foldable technology and the integration of next-generation AI capabilities are fueling this trend.

IDC projects that 170 million next-gen AI smartphones will be shipped in 2024, comprising nearly 15 percent of the total smartphone market and surpassing AI PCs. Nabila Popal emphasized that smartphones will lead the AI revolution into households worldwide, with continued growth anticipated beyond 2024 as use cases evolve and industry players advance NPU (Neural Processing Unit) technology.