Forecast: Smartphone replacement cycle to shorten

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According to research from Strategy Analytics, the average smartphone replacement cycle in Western Europe will shorten from 40 months in 2020 to 33 months by 2025. Improving economic conditions after the Covid pandemic and cheaper 5G models will encourage European consumers to upgrade their old smartphones more often.

Boris Metodiev, Associate Director, at Strategy Analytics, said: “We estimate the average smartphone replacement cycle in Western Europe has lengthened from a low of 25 months in 2015 to a peak of 40 months in 2020. European consumers today are replacing their old smartphones less frequently due to operator de-subsidisation, lack of major hardware innovation, 4G maturity, and a virus pandemic that has wreaked havoc in the region.”

Linda Sui, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics, added: “We expect smartphones to make a European comeback in the next half-decade. Triggered by economic recovery and 5G migration, we forecast the smartphone replacement cycle in Western Europe to shorten to 39 months in 2021 and shorten further to 33 months by 2025. This is good news for hungry smartphone makers in the region, such as Xiaomi or OPPO, because a faster replacement cycle means European consumers will buy more smartphones.”

Boris Metodiev, Associate Director, at Strategy Analytics, added: “How often European consumers replace their smartphones varies wildly by country. For example, UK consumers upgrade their smartphones every 2 years or so. By contrast, smartphone owners in France upgrade on average every 3 years. Local factors, such as 5G readiness, play a big role in local replacement cycles.”


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