Despite the extremely surprising achievements of the smartphone market in 2018, such as the arrival of Huawei in second place as the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer, and also record-high sales in markets such as China and India, this was not a very good year for the market as a whole.

In a new survey conducted by the renowned IDC, this year smartphone sales could reach 1.42 billion units, lower than the 2017 figure of 1.47 billion. But despite this, the new report is for the growth of the smartphone industry in the next few years. According to the report, global sales are expected to fall by about 3%, between 2019 and 2022, but we will see a small increase in smartphone sales across the globe, with sales forecast to grow by 2.6% next year.

This return to sales could be boosted thanks to the arrival of the 5G network, the fifth generation of telecommunications networks that promises to revolutionize the market in a way never seen before. Even with the growing tension due to the US-China trade war, IDC also expects continued development in emerging markets, which will make the market re-emerge in the coming years.

With many large global companies focusing on high quality product launches hoping to attract consumers who want to upgrade based on specifications and premium devices, we can expect direct competition in this segment during the beginning of the year and in 2019 [this competition] be exceptionally high – Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst at IDC.

IDC’s Melissa Chau points out that the market should not rely heavily on foldable smartphones in 2019, even though many companies are already confirming the arrival of such models for next year as Samsung, LG, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and Microsoft.