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Research Uncovers Cautious Attitude To 5G Devices

GSMA Intelligence tipped China to lead the charge to 5G smartphones, with research showing almost half of consumers in the country are keen to upgrade as soon as possible.

In a report published at CES 2020, the analyst group said a study of consumer attitudes across a number of large markets conducted in June 2019 found people in the US and Europe were wary about immediately upgrading to a 5G smartphone.

By contrast, it found 46 per cent of consumers polled in China planned to upgrade to 5G as soon as possible, compared with 28 per cent in the US and 23 per cent in Italy.

The appetite for 5G devices in China fits with shipping projections made by analyst company IDC in November 2019, which tipped sales in the country to help revive the global smartphone market.

GSMA Intelligence head Peter Jarich said: “The device ecosystem will be critical in shaping the trajectory of 5G adoption. However, it’s a mistake to believe that consumers in every market will look at 5G upgrades in the same way. Operators and device manufacturers will need to understand consumer demand on a granular level if they hope to make the most of the 5G opportunity.”

Elsewhere, the report showed increased adoption rates for fitness trackers and smartwatches, with ownership largest among adults in their mid-twenties and thirties. It added there remained a significant opportunity to increase supply of connected health innovations to older adults.

In the smart home sector, the report cited fragmentation and a lack of compatibility between manufacturers as hampering adoption, though the increased popularity of smart speakers provided a central control point for other devices in the home.―Mobile World Live

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