HMD Global is the latest to join the surge in device manufacturers to enter the 5G fray, with the Nokia brand set to deliver a more reasonably-priced device.
Although Apple is steering clear of the surge to capture the attention of early adopters, it does traditionally like to take its time, HMD Global will attempt to cut through the 5G noise with its Nokia-branded device. And like its previous device launches, the phone will be cheaper than others on the market.
According to Digital Trends, HMD Global’s device will be launched in 2020, aiming to cost roughly half of what is available on the market. Although that statement does leave some wiggle-room, it might attract attention from the more cash-conscious consumer.
|Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||$1,299|
|Huawei Mate X||$2,600 (unconfirmed)|
|LG V50 ThinQ 5G||$1,152|
|OnePlus 7 Pro 5G||c.£550-650|
|Oppo Reno 5G||$835|
|Apple||??? but presumably it will be eye-watering expensive to bleed the iLifers dry|
There is an opportunity to undercut the market on price, but it will have to compete on performance. Like anything in the technology world, performance is becoming increasingly important. Will the HMD Global device dance good? Can it take home the trophy?
“We see a particular opportunity for us in bringing 5G to a more affordable segment as we enter the market,” said Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer for HMD in the Digital Trends interview. “I would say affordable in relation to what’s available today. I would love to see us at half of the price where you have 5G today.”
Of course, it matters very little how many people have the devices unless there are the networks to support them, however, as 5G becomes more of a reality it is important all demographics are catered for. Currently, 5G looks like a product designed for the wealthy. There might be more accessible data tariffs hitting the market, but the devices remain out of the financial reach of many.
HMD has built a reputation on capturing attention through nostalgia, though the launch of smartphones in recent months is taking the firm into what more would consider the norm of today. If HMD Global can manage to product a product which performs to the expectations of today’s consumer, while also being friendlier to the wallet, it could be a game-changer.
Interestingly enough, this could present a new challenge to the telcos; an over-subscription on the 5G networks.
This is a challenge which was faced at the beginning of the 4G era. Because the service was so much better than internet services offered before, adoption of 4G was incredibly rapid. One would hope network loading is a consideration of the telcos, assuming lessons have been learnt, however they might have believed there would be a bit more breathing room.
This is a difficult equation to balance, though it will be needed to ensure a mass rollout of 5G. This pricing disruption might be coming sooner than many of the mainstream device manufacturers were hoping for.