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5G smartphone share of global total set to double this year

New research from analyst firm Omdia reckons the 5G smartphone installed base will approach half of the total by the end of this year.

The main reason is the significantly increased presence of 5G modems in cheaper devices as their cost decreases and the rollout of 5G reaches a point at which it’s worth investing in them. Of those 5G smartphones, 81% of them will only support ‘Sub6’, which refers to Gigahertz and covers all frequencies below millimetre wave. The proportion of 5G handsets that support mmWave is expected to grow to 32% next year.

Other nuggets offered up by Omdia include the fact that the $91-$150 price tier is the largest by share of the overall global smartphone market, which is consistent with the previous datapoints, but that the wave of 5G upgrades is driving the average selling price upward. At the other end of the price spectrum, shipments of premium smartphones (ASP over $751) are expected to exceed 200 million units for the first time this year.

Earlier this month fellow analyst firm Gartner published some research that said 5G infrastructure is set to grow at its steepest rate yet, but will slow a bit next year. These findings are a further indication that the telecoms industry handled the Covid pandemic exceptionally well, with both infrastructure investment and consumer demand minimally affected by the global disruption.

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