The Italian market for smartphones was strongly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. On one side, the fact that China was the first country affected had a significant detrimental impact on production and shipments.
Historically, Italy has an old population, which translates into a general resistance to change and a reluctance to acquire new technologies. Consequently, the country has always had a large presence of feature phones.
Huawei remained the largest player in mobile phones in 2020. The company launched its Italian e-commerce operation, HiHonor, during lockdown, at the same time as the launch of the new Honor 9XPro at a promotional price of EUR199 instead of EUR249.
While smartphones is expected to see a slight fall in volumes over 2020-2025 as a whole, the category is set to return to year-on-year growth by the end of the forecast period. Maturity is the key challenge for smartphones, as the category has already achieved near ubiquity in the Italian market.
The roll out of 5G and the launch of new models capable of making the most of the new technology will play an important part in driving smartphone growth during the forecast period. Improvements to the streaming quality for video and music will be an important factor in generating demand, as streaming becomes increasingly central to people’s consumption of entertainment content.
Feature phones is forecast to see continued marked decline over 2020-2025, as multiple smartphone functions become central to consumers’ every-day lives. Furthermore, feature phones will struggle to replenish its consumer base, as its key group of older consumers are not replaced by their digital native younger counterparts.
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This report originates from Passport, our Mobile Phones research and analysis database.
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