One in two smartphones will support 5G by 2022: Realme-Counterpoint whitepaper

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 07, 2021

According to the paper, the global adoption of 5G is outperforming all previous generations

One out of every two smartphones will support 5G by 2022, according to a new white paper titled “Making 5G Global: Accessibility for All” released by smartphone maker Realme in partnership with Counterpoint Research.

The paper explores the adoption of 5G smartphones globally, the current market landscape, technical trends of the 5G evolution, and the leading brands and regions taking up 5G.

According to the paper, the global adoption of 5G is outperforming all previous generations.

One year after the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network, almost one out of every three smartphones sold worldwide supported 5G in Q1 2021. 5G adoption so far has been driven by developed markets However, this is expected to change as more emerging markets are starting to launch commercial 5G services.

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Decline in prices

5G adoption is also aided by a steep decline in smartphone prices. According to the white paper, while premium segments have traditionally dominated in the early adoption stage of previous generations, 5G has introduced 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, as per the paper.

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Design and performance, key for young users

Realme contributed to the paper with its survey findings and insights on young people’s usage trends and expectations on 5G phones. As per the survey, while affordability is important, young users are not willing to compromise on design or performance. Users expect 5G phones to represent the “radical evolution” the new technology is from the past generations, including through unique designs and feature sets. There is a strong desire amongst young consumers for thinner, lighter, and more appealing designs, along with improved functional elements such as screens and battery capacity, the paper said.

The white paper also explored the market share of 5G phone sales globally in 2020. Realme witnessed a 65 per cent y-o-y growth in 2020, becoming one of the top ten 5G smartphone vendors in Q1 2020 owing to its significant online presence and robust portfolio across the mid-end segment. The brand ranked third in the $100-$199 wholesale ASP band.

Sky Li, CEO, Realme, commented, “It’s encouraging to learn that the global adoption rate of 5G continues to grow steadily with developed markets experiencing adoption levels approaching 80 per cent-90 per cent while emerging economies are set to become the next big growth driver of 5G. Realme is committed to popularising 5G and is well-positioned to do so with our strong global presence, particularly in emerging markets, unique connection with young, savvy consumers, significant investment in our product R&D, and a diverse portfolio of 5G devices.”

Affordable 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,” added Madhav Sheth, Vice-President, Realme and Chief Executive Officer, Realme India and Europe.

“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. We will also expand our product portfolio to offer affordable devices without compromising on quality and premium flagship products leading to technological innovation,” added Sheth.

Peter Richardson, VP & Research Director, Counterpoint Research, stated in the white paper, “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. Realme is one of the fastest-growing brands in the 5G era, thanks to its appeal to younger users who are bound to form a core part of the 5G market.”

Published on June 07, 2021

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