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Smartphone Replacement Cycle Will Recover in 2021

by Boris Metodiev | 12月 17, 2020

Global smartphone replacement rate reached the peak in 2013, when operator subsidies also reached the record-high level. However, replacement rate has been experiencing the downward trend from 2014. The downturn track has accelerated recent years, mainly due to de-subsidy shift in major countries, the completion of 4G migration (phone side), smartphone booming in emerging markets, improved smartphone quality, as well as no major hardware innovations.

Covid-19 further dragged down global smartphone replacement rate to a record low in 2020. However, the downturn trend would shift from 2021 onwards thanks to economy recovery and 5G migration.

Regionally, North America leads the pack with highest replacement rate / shortest replacement cycle, followed by Western Europe. Africa Middle East posts the lowest smartphone replacement rate among all regions due to higher prepaid user base, lower GDP per capita and disposable income.

WSS clients can find the Global Smartphone Replacement Rate / Cycle Forecast by 88 Countries : 2008-2025 in the full report here.

The Upgrade Cycle

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