Global sales of 5G phones overtook 4G phones for the first time ever, reaching 51% in January of this year, according to Counterpoint data. China, North America and Western Europe are the biggest drivers of this growth. China has the highest 5G penetration in the world with 84% of 5G smartphones in the market. The 5G push from Chinese telecom operators, combined with the rollout by manufacturers in the country market competitively priced 5G smartphones, fueled this growth.
In Vietnam, IDC’s previous report showed a bright prospect of 5G phones in 2022. Specifically, the number of 5G smartphones sold will more than double compared to the same period in 2021, accounting for more than a quarter. smartphone sales in 2022. This is partly due to more affordable 5G-enabled smartphones and telecom companies passing the testing phase to launch commercial 5G services nationwide in 2022. .
IDC forecasts that the continued shift from buying 2G/3G phones to models supporting 4G/5G networks will lead to the fact that Vietnam will have the highest smartphone market growth among ASEAN countries in 2020. 2022, when the demand for smartphones increases rapidly.
A survey by ICTnews on the market shows that all major manufacturers have launched 5G-enabled phones in the market, with prices from 5 million VND or more. 5G is gradually becoming a must-have equipment on phones of VND 10 million or more. In addition, domestic retailers also forecast that 5G phones will be one of the industry’s focal points in 2022.
Counterpoint reports that 5G smartphone adoption rates in North America and Western Europe hit 73% and 76%, respectively. Apple dominates these two markets with market shares of more than 50% and 30% respectively.
After Apple switched to 5G in October 2020 with the iPhone 12 Series, North America and Western Europe saw a natural increase in 5G smartphone sales. These regions are expected to continue to contribute significantly to 5G sales globally, as even if the iPhone product does not have competitive specifications, there is still a strong demand for the upgrade. to the 5G network.
In addition, there are many iPhone users who are ready to exchange for a new phone after many years of using the old one. The average iPhone replacement cycle is 4 years. When buying a new phone at this stage, 5G connection is almost default.
Not only Apple, Android manufacturers are also quickly integrating 5G into smartphones in many price segments. Thanks to affordable chips provided by MediaTek and Qualcomm, 5G Android smartphones have entered the mid-to-high price segment ($250 – $400) and are now reduced to a price range of $150 – $250, contributing 1/5 of 5G sales in January.
Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America are the next potential regions for 5G phone penetration. The 5G phone models in the sub-$150 price segment are the bright spots for these regions, now dominated by 4G.
Low-end 5G smartphone processors (SoCs) currently cost more than $20. When the price drops below $20, the market will start to have affordable 5G smartphones, according to Counterpoint.
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