from MTHULISI SIBANDA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – SUB-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East are set to defy an ongoing slump in worldwide sales of smartphones.
These regions are the only global zones to record straight growth between 2018 and 2021.
Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to record the most impressive growth with 88,753 million to 90,104 million and eventually to 91,917 million during the years respectively.
The Middle East and North Africa region (combined) are set to attain sales of 75,607 million, 76,336 million and 77,864 million respectively.
Japan ( with decline of 6,5 percent), Western Europe (-5,3 percent) and North America (-4,4 percent) are set to exhibit the worst declines in sales of smartphones in 2019.
Globally, Gartner projects worldwide sales of smartphones to end-users will total 1,5 billion units in 2019, a 2,5 percent decline year over year.
Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner, said lengthening smartphone replacement cycles and a ban on Huawei accessing technology from United States-based suppliers weakened demand for smartphones in the first half of 2019.
“We expect demand to get even weaker in the second half as replacement of high-, low- and mid-end smartphones continues to slow, due to low value benefits,” she said of Gartner’s projections.
Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company.
Gartner analysts expect smartphone sales to grow again in 2020, driven by broader availability of 5G models and the promotion of 5G service packages in various parts of the world by communications service providers (CSPs).
Although leading mobile manufacturers have started positioning their first 5G smartphones and CSPs have started to offer some aggressively-priced 5G service packages, 5G smartphone sales are set to remain marginal in 2019.
Gartner forecasts that sales of 5G smartphones will top 15 million units in 2019, which will represent less than 1 percent of total smartphone sales.
– CAJ News