Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi along with many other smartphone players released their first 5G smartphone during 2019. Apple expects to launch next-generation 5G iPhones in 2020. Since the USA is going to be one of the top two markets globally for network roll-out, we conducted a consumer research study to understand potential consumer demand for the new technology.
According to the survey, a majority of consumers showed positive interest in buying a 5G smartphone and almost one in four is willing to spend as much as 20% more to upgrade to a 5G smartphone compared to a 4G model.
The survey revealed some interesting insights on the purchase intention and attitude towards an upcoming wave of 5G smartphones. The interest in buying a 5G smartphone is highest among respondents earning between $1500 – $5000 per month. These consumers are willing to spend between $800-$1500 on a 5G smartphone. Most of these users are using a phone which is at least 18 months old. Respondents earning less than $1500 per month would not want to spend more than $700 on a 5G smartphone. Male respondents reflected a stronger inclination towards 5G smartphones than females.
Further detail on the demographics shows that more than half the respondents in the 25-34 years age group are willing to spend $600 – $1000 on a 5G smartphone, while those over 35 would wish to spend less than $600.
Spending Intention for Buying 5G smartphones
Source: Consumer Lens
The above indicators good are signs for the smartphone and service provider ecosystem. However, with some early users reporting disappointing performance, the industry will need to ensure a positive experience for early adopters to prevent turning-off potential upgraders.
Newer 5G applications and services such as mobile eXtended Reality (XR), cloud gaming and others can accelerate 5G device upgrades. However, we believe the consumer purchase decision will be stimulated further by various factors including operator and brand promotions, data plan pricing, better 5G coverage, and higher data throughput in dense urban areas.
The US and other mature smartphone markets have seen a slowing upgrade cycle in smartphones and the roll-out of 5G networks and devices will likely stimulate a quickening of the replacement rate in the near- to mid-term. According to our preliminary global smartphone shipment estimates, 5G will grow strongly in the USA, China, and several Western European countries over the next year. Compared to initial 4G sales, we expect 5G to grow at a much faster pace and contribute to the global smartphone market growing by four to five percent in 2020.