WitsView: Penetration of Full-Screen Smartphone Will Surge 45% in 2018

By Andrew Fenn
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This year’s Mobile World Congress has concluded and major smartphone vendors at the event have unveiled their smartphone lineup for this year, revealing the development trends in smartphone technology and specifications. According to WitsView, a division of TrendForce, full-screen smartphones will become a trend in the market this year. The pursuit of narrower bezels and notch designs has emerged, bringing about solutions for under-display fingerprint sensors and applications combining camera modules and facial recognition.

Full-screen smartphones have become the focus of the market since 2017. New models launched by Samsung and Apple have led to designs with a higher screen-to-body ratio. Smartphone brands will be changing the overall appearance of their devices as a way to upgrade hardware specifications, especially in the event that the smartphone market becomes saturated and replacement purchases decrease. In addition to Samsung, LG, Sony and many Chinese brands have officially launched full-screen flagship models at MWC this year. WitsView expects that the penetration rate of full-screen smartphones will rise rapidly to 44.6% in 2018, and reach 90% in 2021.

981452001513741364 thumbNotch design is another focus for vendors this year, since Apple released the iPhone X with a notch design and 3D facial recognition in 2017. Some panel makers are actively purchasing panel-cutting equipment to meet the different needs of clients in product development. WitsView’s Boyce Fan said:

“The positioning and penetration of products are influenced by patent issues of notch design and consumers’ acceptance of it, as well as the manufacturing difficulty and derivative costs of notch design”.

Therefore, WitsView estimates that the penetration rate of models with notch design in smartphones will be 15.7% in 2018 and 26.9% in 2021. Fan also points out that the life cycle of the 4G telecommunication standard has entered its middle and final stages. The trend of large-scale replacement purchases is slowing down, so the market has shifted its focus to emerging 5G technology.

WitsView notes that European and American manufacturers used to initiate the drafting of communication protocols. However, with the rise and expansion of Chinese manufacturers, they have also actively participated in the formulation of the 5G standard so as to seize market opportunities. The 5G standard has significant improvements in bandwidth and internet speed, indicating the coming age of all-connected. At the same time, with improvements in the computing power of mobile devices, more diverse and new applications will be created in fields of AI, AR/VR, etc.