With the rapid development of the mobile Internet, smart phones have become an indispensable tool in people’s lives. Today, the smartphone is no longer just a communication tool, it also has multiple purposes such as payment, social interaction, travel, etc., making people’s lives more intelligent.
In 2020, mobile phone manufacturers represented by Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, vivo, etc. are seeking to enter the field of smart wearables to regain revenue growth. Behind this change is the game between the complex external situation and the development of the internal industry, as well as the interweaving of contingency and inevitability, which is a reflection and response of the entire industry to the times.
So, what new changes will the smartphone market see in 2021?
Domestic market: “out of stock” will be the key word
Recently, IDC, a global authoritative consulting agency, released the “Top 10 Predictions for China’s Smartphone Market in 2021”. IDC pointed out that although the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic on the domestic mobile phone market has gradually eased in 2020, under the combined effect of multiple internal and external factors, the development of China’s mobile phone market in 2021 will be full of more uncertainties.
Prediction 1: The market returns to positive
Thanks to the better market environment under the stable prevention and control of the epidemic, it is expected that domestic smartphone shipments will increase by 4.6% year-on-year in 2021, with a market capacity of about 340 million units.
Prediction 2: Supply chain instability continues
In 2021, the competition on the chip side will become more and more fierce, and “out of stock” will become the keyword of the entire industry. The unstable situation on the supply chain side will continue for about 50% of the time in 2021.
Prediction 3: Multi-chip platform introduction
In order to reduce risks, it is expected that by 2022, more than 50% of the 5G mobile phone products of mainstream mobile phone manufacturers will span three or more chip platforms.
Prediction 4: 5G mobile phone retention rate exceeds 40%
As 5G continues to penetrate the domestic market, by 2021, 40% of mobile phone users nationwide will switch to 5G mobile phones. Among them, more than 70% exist in T1-T3 cities.
Prediction 5: Parity unit price declines
The capacity of the high-end market will be reduced to a certain extent, and the competition of mainstream or low-end products will intensify. It is expected that the overall average unit price of the domestic market will drop by 0.9% in 2021.
Prediction 6: The image competition will change from “quantity” to “quality”
Video is still one of the main tracks for mobile phone hardware upgrades, but the focus of upgrades will shift from the number of cameras to quality. It is expected that in 2021, the average number of cameras in domestic mobile phones will not exceed 4.3.
Prediction 7: The development of folding screens is optimistic
In order to meet the increasingly differentiated needs of high-end users, more folding screen products will enter the market one after another. It is estimated that by 2023, the domestic shipments of folding screen products will exceed 1 million units.
Prediction 8: High refresh rates go mainstream
The proportion of models that support high refresh rate screens (90Hz and above) will rise to more than 80% in 2022, truly becoming the mainstream of the market. Therefore, the adaptation and optimization of high refresh rate and variable refresh rate screens at the system and software application level will continue to become a more important issue.
Prediction 9: The “fast charging” ecology is taking shape
Hundred-watt-level wired charging and high-power wireless charging will accelerate the penetration, and with the penetration of the concept of mobile office and the accelerated entry of more terminal devices that support wireless charging into the market, the construction of a charging ecosystem will be put on the agenda. Supporting multi-protocol, more portable fast charging chargers, wireless chargers will enter the mobile phone channel faster and occupy a place in the market.
Prediction 10: The cloud storage push is now
Mobile phone cloud services represented by cloud storage will usher in greater demand and opportunities. Under the premise of controlling terminal prices, mobile phones in the mainstream price range have been unable to squeeze out costs and provide significantly higher storage space; at the same time, the continuous development of 5G networks will also bring better development space for cloud services on mobile phones.
International market: Samsung is still the hegemon
After talking about the domestic market, let’s take a look at the future development trend of smart phones from the perspective of the international market.
A few days ago, the global market research agency TrendForce made a forecast ranking of the sales of seven major smartphone brands in 2021.
According to TrendForce’s forecast, Samsung will still be at the top of the top seven smartphone brands in 2021, with shipments expected to be around 267 million units. (If it can take the No. 1 spot again in 2021, Samsung will maintain such a strong record for 10 years in a row.)
The second place is Apple, with 199 million iPhone shipments in 2020, and its overall shipments are expected to be worth 229 million units in 2021.
The third place is the domestic smartphone brand Xiaomi, which is expected to increase its shipments from 146 million to 198 million in 2021.
The fourth and fifth are OPPO and vivo. The shipments of these two brands are forecast to be 144 million units and 110 million units respectively.
The fifth place is Transsion, a domestic mobile phone brand that focuses on the African market. Transsion is expected to increase its shipments from 55 million units to 60 million units in 2021.
The seventh place is Huawei, which is expected to drop from 170 million units in 2020 to 45 million units in 2021.
In this regard, 21ic believes that most of Huawei’s lost share, especially in the domestic market, is basically eaten by Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, but it is better to be eaten by its own people than to Samsung and Apple.
In 2021, which mobile phone brand are you optimistic about?