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Smartphone Replacement Cycle Recovery Halted in 2022

by Boris Metodiev | Jun 29, 2022

Global smartphone replacement cycle was at its shortest at 28 months in 2013, when operator subsidies also reached the record high level. However, replacement cycle has been lengthening from 2014 onwards, coupled with de-subsidisation, lack of major innovations, and increased low-income prepaid smartphone users in emerging markets.

Covid-19 hit the global smartphone market and further increased global smartphone replacement cycle to 43 months in 2020, before recovering slightly in 2021 due to easing Covid restrictions and the vaccination rollout across the world.

However, that recovery was swiftly halted due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, and the subsequent rise of energy prices and high inflation. We expect global smartphone replacement cycle to start to slowly rebound from 2023 onwards, mainly triggered by economy recovery and 5G migration. We forecast global smartphone replacement cycle will improve to 41 months by 2027.

Smartphone replacement cycle varies widely between countries and regions, and many of them follow different pattern throughout the years.

WSS clients can find the Global Smartphone Replacement Rate / Cycle Forecast by 88 Countries : 2008-2026 in the full report here.
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