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iPhone X could make 2018 phone sales great again

Smartphone sales are projected to rise for the first time since 2015, thanks to Apple.


The iPhone X may fuel a strong year of phone sales.

James Martin/CNET

If smartphone sales grow in 2018, the industry might have the iPhone X to thank. The irony is that that growth may have everything to do with the iPhone X being hard to get in 2017.

Gartner study forecasts that 2018 will be the first year of smartphone growth since 2015, with sales cooling off in 2016 and 2017. Shipments are expected to total 1.9 billion units, up by 2 percent from this year.

The iPhone X should be the engine pushing the train forward in key regions like North America, Western Europe and China. Since Apple's marquee phone won't arrive until November, sales should continue into 2018.

Gartner's online study polled 16,537 respondents in the US, UK, Germany, China and India in June and July 2017.

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The iPhone X is also rumored to face production shortages, which could lead to a limited supply upon release. If these reports are accurate, people may not be able to get their hands on the X until the beginning of next year. While this may stifle phone sales in 2017, it could contribute to a strong start to 2018.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.