Retail current value sales of mobile phones declined for the first time in a decade during 2020, due to both the economic shock of the pandemic and the fact that consumers were spending more time at home and moving around less as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. With economic conditions stabilising and COVID-19 restrictions being eased, 2021 will see retail current value sales return to growth.
Despite the chip shortage, the unit price of smartphones is set to decline for the second successive year during 2021, as many manufacturers seek to launch more affordable models that appeal to less affluent consumers. Following Samsung Electronics Canada’s launch of the Galaxy A52 5G, the company has strived to make 5G smartphones more accessible by offering the budget-friendly Galaxy A22 5G, which boasts a sizeable battery, fast charging and a triple rear camera setup, in addition to a 6.
Samsung and Apple are the leading players in smartphones: During 2021, they will account for just over half of retail volume sales of mobile phones between them. Apple’s iPhone carries a premium price tag, and as a result, the brand tends to be more popular with affluent consumers, while Samsung is by far the most popular Android smartphone.
The rate of growth in retail current value sales of smartphones is set to accelerate during 2022 and remain robust for the rest of the forecast period. With little growth in retail volume sales anticipated, an acceleration in the rate of unit price growth will be the main driver of this, as consumers upgrade to more expensive models with higher resolution screens, more powerful cameras and particularly 5G access.
Mobile gaming, already a popular hobby, is set to grow in popularity during the forecast period. This will be facilitated by more powerful processors, higher resolution screens and particularly 5G, which will make online gaming faster and more stable.
E-commerce surged in popularity as a distribution channel for smartphones during 2020, when non-essential retailers were forced to close for an extended period, and it is set to remain dominant during 2021 and throughout the forecast period. Canadian consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with online shopping due to its convenience, competitive pricing and the wide range of products on offer.
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This report originates from Passport, our Mobile Phones research and analysis database.
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