5G networks have been launched, though uptake has been questionable, but this is set to change in 2020 according to research firm GlobalData.
One of the reasons for the sluggish uptake in the opening months might down to the unattractive native of geographical coverage, though it might also be attributed to the affordability of devices. GlobalData believes this aspect of the industry might be set to run wild over the coming months.
“In 2020, we will see manufacturers such as Lenovo and HMD in the US, along with Xiaomi and Oppo in Europe and Asia, hitting the market with lower-priced 5G smartphones in the $500-$700 range, with some even being offered for less than $500,” said Anisha Bhatia, Senior Device Analyst at GlobalData.
“As more devices become available across price tiers, 2020 will be the ramp-up year for 5G. Coverage will continue to grow across regions, and carriers will engage with partners to find ways to monetize 5G devices and services.”
As it stands, there isn’t a huge amount of choice available for the 5G enthusiast of today.
|Device||Price (rough estimate) USD|
|Huawei Mate 20 X 5G||$1,240|
|LG V 50 ThinQ||$1,152|
|OnePlus 7 Pro 5G||$749|
|Samsung Galaxy A90 5G||$810|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G||$1,299|
|Oppo Reno 5G Ocean Green||$1037|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G||$840|
Unfortunately, not all of these devices are available in every market, or through every telco. The choice for the consumer is rather limited.
This presents an unpleasant ‘chicken and egg’ situation for the 5G ecosystem. Device manufacturers will not go 100% unless there is genuine interest from consumers, who in turn might be waiting for the price to come down, 5G applications to appear or coverage to increase. The 5G applications will not increase unless there is an install base, and network deployment will be staggered unless the technology is embraced. Economies of scale cannot be achieved by the OEMs unless there is appetite from the rest of the ecosystem, but cheaper devices are needed for this to come true.
It is a mish-mass of complicated result-and-outcome knock-ons, but GlobalData anticipates the launch of several new devices over the course of 2020 which should be more palatable for the consumer’s wallet. This might well be the catalyst which drives excitement (and investment) throughout the rest of the ecosystem.
According to GlobalData, the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 was a very important event this year. This chip, designed for mid-range devices, could enable the creation of new devices in the $500-700 range. These are still not cheap in comparison to what is available today, but it is a price point which is accessible to the mass market.