Global mobile phone shipments are projected to reach the lowest point in a decade for the year 2023. According to the GSMA, the total number of units is expected to be around 1.35 billion and this downturn is largely attributed to an economic slump as well as the increasing popularity of used devices. However, 5G-enabled handsets are anticipated to remain strong, making up more than 50% of total device shipments throughout this period. The recessionary effect could be especially contentious during the first half of 2023 as price sensitivity amongst consumers will increase due to a weakened economy.
On a regional level, India’s demand for mobile phones is expected to stay relatively steady whereas China is predicted bounce back after restrictions related to Covid-19 have been lifted. In line with these trends, premium segment brands such as Apple and Samsung are slated to benefit from these changes; as higher income groups will generally be less affected by the economy when compared to their lower income counterparts. The used devices market is also forecasted for ongoing growth in the coming years; reaching 40% of the overall sector by 2027 as end users become increasingly environmentally conscious and desire cost-effective yet reliable options. Regarding 5G subscribership, China has made headlines with its ambitious goal of reaching one billion users within 6 years’ time – that being 2025.
It is widely believed that this target can be realized following numerous advancements in infrastructure development which took place over recent months; involving both private enterprises and public investments alike. As a result it appears that despite some hurdles presented by a weakened economy in 2023, global mobile phone sales will remain steadfast – with particular emphasis placed on 5G-enabled handsets whilst used devices continue gain traction within society due their appealing combination of budget friendliness and reliability.
Overall, the mobile phone industry is expected to remain strong despite a potential global recession – however, it will be vital for brands to take into consideration both regional and global trends when developing their products and services in order to maintain a competitive edge. This includes catering towards 5G features as well as offering affordable solutions for customers on tighter budgets. Additionally, understanding the nuances of the used devices segment is also important to ensure long-term success in this volatile industry. In conclusion, global mobile phone sales have dipped in recent years due to an economic downturn; however, the 5G segment remains quite strong. Regional trends are key when developing strategies as India and China’s demand for phones holds steady while the used devices market continues to gain traction.