Global Market of Mobile Phone Subscriptions and Shipment Volume: Key Research Findings 2023

Global Shipment Volume of Smartphones in 2023 Projected to Reach 1,226,290 Thousand Unit, Down by 7.0% of Previous Year

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the global mobile-phone subscriptions and the market of smartphones as well as feature phones in global major thirty-three countries and one region, and forecasted the number of subscriptions by telecommunication provider, shipment volume by phone type, and market shares by manufacturer. This press release discloses the forecast on the global cumulative subscriptions for mobile phones & 5G services, and the shipment volume of smartphones and 5G smartphones.

Transition and Forecast of Global Cumulative Mobile-Phone & 5G-Service Subscription Cases
Transition and Forecast of Global Cumulative Mobile-Phone & 5G-Service Subscription Cases
Transition and Forecast of Global Shipment Volume of Smartphones & 5G Smartphones
Transition and Forecast of Global Shipment Volume of Smartphones & 5G Smartphones

Market Overview

The global cumulative mobile-phone subscriptions in 2022 have been 8,445,030 thousand cases, with the number projected to be 8,551,760 thousand for 2023 and 9,099,450 by 2030.

Subscription cases for mobile phones continue growing in ASEAN, African, and Latin American countries, driving the entire global market. 5G adoptions are also slowly underway. However, the mainstream of such 5G is on a non-standalone (NSA) network that leverages an existing 4G network. After 2024, building of a standalone (SA) (*1) network for 5G expected, which helps emerge of 5G network slicing (*2) services one after another to exert 5G abilities.

The global shipment volume of smartphones in 2022 have been 1,318,020 thousand units, with the expectation to grow to 1,226,290 thousand by 2023.

For the global mobile phone terminal market, India has entered the diffusion phase to have expanded the market, while the markets in ASEAN and African countries are steadily expanding, due to the support from increasing subscription cases for mobile phone services. China, that has driven the entire market, shows continued decline in the shipment volume due to saturation in the number of subscriptions and sluggish economy, despite 5G services most widespread in the world. Meanwhile, the terminals by its domestic manufacturers are so popular that manufacturers from overseas are facing difficulty in China.

*1) The standalone (SA) 5G service is the service that uses 5G-dedicated architecture (base stations, core network), unlike those non-standalone (NSA) services that leverage existing 4G facilities for providing 5G services. SA architecture has the advantages to provide higher speed connectivity with larger network capacity and simultaneous connections with multiple devices.
*2) Network slicing is the technique to virtually divides a network, enabling optimal operations according to the conditions of data exchanged on the network. For instance, a slice of a network with a frequency band may work for high speed and large capacity communications, while another slice may respond to communications with high reliance and low latency needed.

Noteworthy Topics

Deployment of Satellite Communication Services

As a move related to commercialization of Beyond 5G or 6G services, interest in satellite communication services is growing. The commercial services have already been available in the US and China, while the deployment has started in Japan. The services have gathered attention because of their connectivity on the sea, in the air, in remote areas or mountainous areas without any base-station coverage, and wide applications including replacement of 2G (Global System for Mobile Communications), and as a disaster countermeasure.

Future Outlook

Five years have passed since 5G commercial services launched. However, as the mainstream of such 5G has been on the NSA network, except for the US and China, it is hardly the full-scale 5G service implementation. 5G-specific issues such as heavy capital investment burdens and difficulties in operating high frequency bands such as millimeter waves and sub6 GHz have in fact discouraged telecommunication businesses on capital investment, in addition to the factors of COVID-19 impact on the social and economic activities and shortage of semiconductors. However, end of 3G services fuels these telecommunication businesses to move on to building 5G SA network, encouraging the full-scale 5G services to start in 2024 and after. Next comes 5G-Advanced, that applies to 5.5 generation, with its full deployment from 2025 to 2026. Viewing the implementations of Beyond5G and 6G, telecommunication businesses are likely to deploy new systems including satellite communication services, utilized in the areas of IoT, automotive connected services, XR (VR/AR/MR), and more.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: October to December 2023
2.Research Object: Domestic/International Mobile Network Operators (MNOs; mobile carriers), mobile phone device manufacturers, mobile phone parts manufacturers, EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Service) & ODM (Original Design Manufacturing) companies, etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by expert researchers (including online), interviews at seminars, and literature research

The Mobile Communication Services Market

Mobile communication service is the generic term for services provided by the Mobile Network Operators, which includes (1) voice calls and (2) data communication services. For billing, both pre-paid and post-paid methods are available. Today, majority of the services give 4G coverage (the fourth generation of mobile phone technology).

<Products and Services in the Market>

Mobile communication services (voice calls, data communication services), smartphones, feature phones, tablets, wearable devices (smart watches, smart bands, HMDs, etc.)

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