TrendForce recently published a study on January 6 predicting that global smartphone shipments will decline by 11 percent year-on-year to around 1.25 billion units in 2020, while shipments will grow by 9 percent year-on-year to 1.36 billion units in 2021. Among them, 37 percent is accounted for by 5G smart phones and the market share of Huawei will slip to seventh.
In terms of number of sales, Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo will be the top six handset manufacturers in 2020. Huawei is expected to become seventh, following Transsion, in 2021. In 2021, the smartphone industry will usher in dramatic expansion, but shipments will still be partly limited by the ability of chip production.
- The recovery of the smartphone industry in 2021 would harm the vitality of Huawei.
Owing to the effects of the recent crown pneumonia outbreak, global smartphone shipments in 2020 are just around 1.25 billion units, a year-on-year drop of 11 percent relative to 2019, the highest reduction in history, according to TrendForce’s latest survey results.
In 2021, TrendForce predicts that the global mobile industry will steadily rebound as consumers get used to the “new normal” brought on by the epidemic.
Moreover, this year’s rise in demand for replacement phones and the growth in demand in emerging markets can both be relatively high. Based on this, annual global smartphone shipments are expected to rise by 9% in 2021, hitting 1.36 billion units, the first increase since 2017.
It is worth remembering that there will be a relatively big shift in the ranking of global mobile manufacturers’ shipments in 2021. Huawei’s cell phone shipments will drop dramatically because of the US chip ban, and the sharing of glory will also suck away a lot. The sales part.
At the end of 2020, Honor formally split itself from Huawei and acted as an independent cell phone company. This divestiture is intended to ensure that Huawei, Honor and their associates will live better.
Honor has become one of the world’s mainstream smart phone brands after many years of growth, but it remains to be seen if the “new” Honor would remain appealing to customers without the help of Huawei.
In addition, Huawei and Honor will explicitly form a strategic alliance on the road of the mobile phone after freedom. Such rivalry will escalate until Huawei is excluded from the US chip ban for different reasons.
Shipments would still be individually counted after the break between Huawei and Honor. It would be difficult for Huawei to regain its share of the smartphone market to its former level in a limited period of time as Honor continues to expand itself.
TrendForce forecasts that Huawei, also after Transsion, will slip from third place in 2020 to seventh place in 2021. Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo and Transsion will be the top six handset makers in the world by 2021, with about 80 percent of sales being accounted for by the six companies.
TrendForce has reported, however, that the outbreak will still be the greatest driver of volatility in shipping predictions because it will continue to have a huge effect on the global economy.
In addition to the outbreak, geopolitical instability and inadequate capability in the semiconductor foundry industry could impact the output of smartphone manufacturers in 2021 as well.
- The penetration rate of 5G cell phones has doubled, and shipments will be constrained by the capability of chip production.
TrendForce said that global 5G smartphone shipments will hit approximately 240 million units in 2020, with a penetration rate of 19%, of which Chinese brands account for almost 60% of the market share, which is inseparable from the robust promotion of 5G commercialization by China.
This year, 5G will also be one of the biggest sources of demand for consumers to upgrade phones. Furthermore, the construction of 5G networks is being intensified by several countries and territories. To step up the popularization of 5G, smartphone SoC vendors will also announce entry-level and mid-end 5G processors.
TrendForce found out that the outbreak could be successfully managed within a year under ambitious forecasts. Shipments in computers, tablets, notebooks and other items will, however, all rise year-on-year in 2021.
They also stated that the PMIC (power management chip) and CIS (CMOS image sensor chip) found in each cell phone would double due to the continuous enhancement of smartphone hardware specifications.
The US government, on the other hand, recently added China’s largest SMIC foundry to the list of agencies again, and TrendForce expects this to increase the chip industry’s capacity shortage.
TrendForce points out that mobile vendors typically have a positive outlook towards the demand in 2021, and by increasing their projected sales, manufacturers are seeking to obtain more chip suppliers, however this may trigger over-subscribing of foundries.
Once real revenues fell short of projections this year, or a bottleneck is discovered in the production of certain main parts, these chip inventories will be shifted from the second quarter to the third year, and the number of new orders will also decline.
But even then, TrendForce also offers a projection, stating that in 2021, the foundry’s capacity utilization rate will hit over 90 percent.