Sunday, September 29, 2019

5G Anticipation Set to Slow Smartphone Sales

There is a slump in the demands for smartphones in the market today. This stagnation in the demand for smartphones is attributed to the anticipation of 5G compatible phones. This new generation of 5G compatible smartphones seems to have challenged the popularity of the current wireless technology that has transformed the life of the people.

Mobile phones were introduced in the late 90s. However, it was Apple iPhone that kicked off frenzy for smartphone demands. The ability to connect to the Internet on the go helped in the growing demand for smartphones. It all started with 1G in 1981, which was followed by2G in the year 1991. It was in 1998 that 3G came into picture and finally the year 2008 saw the commercial launch of 4G technology.

The difference in these ‘generations’ is the technology they supported. 1G was good for just voice-only. 2G helped improved call and text encryption, which included data services such as SMS and MMS. With 3G people could start using their smartphones for video calling and mobile internet. 4G helped access high speed internet gaming services, high definition mobile TV, video conference, as well as 3D TV on a smartphone.

The 4G phones although launched in 2008 gained commercial success only in 2010. The year 2009 saw around 173.5 million units sold and there was a 75% jump in sales by the year 2010 (around 300 million units). This is because more and more users switched to 4G that led to increase in demand for new smartphones.

5G technology will lead to age of smart energy, smart cities, autonomous vehicles as well as Internet of Things (IoT). As more and more companies around the world are testing 5G networks, it is anticipated that the latest 5G enabled smartphones will be launched by 2020.

5G smartphones will account for about 7% of the market share in 2020 according to the International Data Corporation. This share will grow to about 18% of the total volumes by 2022. According to Ericsson’s 2018 Mobility Report, there will be around 1 Billion 5G devices by 2023.

Thus, the 5G anticipation is set to slow smartphone sales for the time being. Once 5G enabled devices are launched commercially, they will be quite expensive as compared to 4G smartphones available today. They will gradually pick up sales as 4G soon starts fading out and more devices flood the market in competition to vie for the top spot in sales.



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