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Global Smartphone Revenues to Spike 13% YoY in 2021

by Linda Sui | Apr 16, 2021

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone wholesale revenues will increase +13% YoY in 2021, the highest revenue growth in six years. Despite the economic uncertainty and dented consumer confidence caused by the corona-virus, the market will be able to bounce back in 2021, on the back of the iPhone 12 super cycle, and the migration to 5G globally.

Although global smartphone wholesale revenues decreased -5% YoY in 2020, as a result of the global corona-virus pandemic, we expect them to rebound strongly +13% in 2021 and continue to rise in the following years. Economic recovery following COVID-19 related lock downs globally, overdue replacement of aging devices and higher component prices, as well as migration towards 5G, are all going to contribute to the revenue growth in 2021.

We expect global smartphone sales volume will grow + 7% YoY at 1.4 billion units, and global smartphone wholesale average selling price (ASP) will grow +6% to US$294 in 2021, resulting in smartphone wholesale revenue exceeding US$400 billion. We expect the ultra-premium segment (US$600 wholesale and above) to perform particularly well due to iPhone 12’s super cycle, and to contribute to almost half of the overall wholesale revenues this year.

We expect the four largest countries of China, US, India and Japan to account for 54% of all smartphone wholesale revenues worldwide in 2021. A downside risk remains in terms of volumes and value in India and Brazil which are suffering through significant surges in COVID-19 currently. However, in general we remain modestly optimistic about both replacement sales and new customers.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Wholesale Revenue Growth YoY

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