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Half of smartphones sold globally will support 5G by 2022-end

One out of every two smartphones sold globally is expected to support 5G by the end of 2022 as factors like increasing affordability, unique design and performance fuel adoption of the new technology, according to a whitepaper by Counterpoint Research and Realme.

According to the whitepaper titled ‘Making 5G Global: Accessibility for All’, the global adoption of 5G is outpacing all previous generations.

In the first quarter of 2021, within just one year after the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network, almost one out of every three smartphones sold worldwide supported 5G, it said.

While developed markets have been driving 5G adoption, this is expected to change as more emerging markets are starting to launch commercial 5G services, it added.

The whitepaper noted that premium segments have traditionally dominated in the early adoption stage of previous generations but 5G has brought a new dynamic to the market.

“In 2020, 5G phones in the low-to-mid-range price segments accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all 5G devices sold. With average selling prices (ASP) likely to continue declining by double-digits in the foreseeable future, it is expected that one out of every two smartphones sold globally will support 5G by the end of 2022,” it added.

People expect 5G phones to show how the new technology is a radical evolution from the past, including through unique designs and feature sets.

There is a strong desire among young consumers for thinner, lighter, and more appealing designs, along with improved functional elements such as screens and battery capacity, as per the insights.

“It’s encouraging to learn that the global adoption rate of 5G continues to grow steadily with developed markets experiencing adoption levels approaching 80-90 per cent while emerging economies are set to become the next big growth driver of 5G,” Realme CEO Sky Li said.

Li added that the company is committed to popularising 5G and is well-positioned to do so with its strong global presence, particularly in emerging markets; connect with young consumers; significant investment in product R&D; and a diverse portfolio of 5G devices.

“Realme believes that 5G smartphone development has entered the 2.0 era, and a more complete 5G mobile experience is gradually becoming the new standard.

“We intend to further increase our 5G offerings, providing a more enhanced 5G mobile experience not only through premium product specifications, but also more innovative designs,” Realme Vice-President and CEO (India and Europe) Madhav Sheth said.

Peter Richardson, VP and Research Director at Counterpoint Research, said every generation of cellular technology has seen a different mix of players taking the lead.

“In 3G it was Nokia, with Samsung taking over in 4G. As we look ahead, the list of players is growing more diverse,” he said.

Last week, Realme had said it expects to bring a 5G smartphone for less than Rs 10,000 next year, and plans to bring down the handset price to around Rs 7,000 apiece thereafter.

Sheth at a 5G summit had announced that the company will invest over Rs 2,100 crore (USD 300 million) on research and development globally on 5G and set up seven R&D centres at different locations, including India. PTI

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