About 2 billion mobile phones will be shipped in 2017, a 2% rise from 2016, and this growth rate is expected to continue resulting in a staggering 10 billion mobile phones being shipped over the next five years, CCS Insight estimates
Smartphones will continue to account for most sales, with an expected 1.53 billion shipped in 2017. This figure will rise to 1.9 billion in 2021, when smartphones will account for 92% of the total mobile phone market.
"Although total shipment volumes will remain largely flat over the next five years, the proportion of smartphones continues to grow and the technology landscape is changing rapidly,” said Marina Koytcheva, vice president of forecasting at CCS Insight.
The forecast reveals the strong progress that 4G LTE technology has made in mobile phones over the past decade. CCS Insight expects 68% of phones shipped in 2017 to be LTE-capable, climbing to 84% in 2020.
Source: CCS Insight Mobile Phone Forecast 2017-2021
CCS Insight's forecast also reveals the emerging potential for 5G-capable handsets, despite the fact that early deployment of 5G networks will focus on providing fixed wireless connections. The analyst firm expects 100 million 5G-capable phones will be shipped in 2021, and leading markets will be North America and developed markets in Asia–Pacific such as Japan and South Korea.
China will remain the largest global market, with sales reaching half a billion units in 2021. Principal growth markets during the forecast period will be in Africa, India and some other markets in Southeast Asia.