More than one in three smartphones sold in 2021 will be a 5G handset

·1-min read
Global smartphone sales are forecast to top 1.5 billion in 2021.

Global smartphone sales are expected to top 1.5 billion in 2021, according to the latest forecasts from Gartner. More than one in three units, or around 538 million handsets, are expected to feature 5G support.

Some 213 million 5G handsets were sold in 2020, or around 15% of total smartphone sales worldwide. This figure is forecast to more than double in 2021, proving a major driving force in the estimated 11% growth in smartphone sales in 2021, up from 1.37 to 1.53 billion unit sales.

All world regions are expected to see growth in smartphone sales this year. In Western Europe, for example, unit sales are expected to increase from 125 to 142 million units year-on-year.

The historic success of the iPhone 12 -- Apple's first 5G-compatible handset -- offers a first reliable indicator of consumer demand for this kind of handset. Now, other major manufacturers are set to follow, and more affordable mid-range 5G devices should be available by the end of the year.

David Bénard