5G smartphone forecast by Strategy Analytics

Ericsson 5G for telecomsStrategy Analytics has revealed the forecast on 5G smartphone market. The US-based analyst firm recently said nearly 5 percent of handsets sold in 2021 will be 5G smartphones.

IDC research report recently indicated that global smartphone market will achieve CAGR of 2.8 percent over the 2017-2022 forecast period with volumes forecast to reach 1.68 billion units in 2022.

5G subscriptions will reach 600 million by 2023 – thanks to 5G investments in China, the US and South Korea, Strategy Analytics said.

Telecom operator’s investment in few large-scale 5G networks, limited availability of 5G handset models from phone manufacturing companies, and high-prices for 5G smartphones and lack of compelling use cases will limit sales of the 5G devices in their first few years.

5G networks in key countries in Asia and North America will cover many urban centers, giving customers a reason to purchase 5G smartphones by 2021.

Research firm TBR estimates over 85 percent of communication service provider (CSP) 5G Capex spend will occur in four countries such as the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea through 2020.

The first 5G commercial handsets will go on sale from early 2019, while sales will not begin to scale up until 2021 when volumes approach 5 percent of global handset sales, Strategy Analytics said.

“5G smartphone sales will begin in China, Japan, South Korea and the USA from 2019” says Senior Analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “But volumes in 2019 will be in just the millions, and only barely in the tens of millions in 2020.”

Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “By 2023, as 5G smartphone prices continue to fall and next-generation wireless networks are built out across much of the developed world, 5G handset sales will number in the hundreds of millions.”

Phil Kendall, director of Service Provider Strategies noted “5G subscriptions boosted by device economies of scale coming from China’s early involvement in network deployments will ramp to almost 600 million by 2023.”

Strategy Analytics said even as 5G smartphone sales are rapidly ramping up in 2023, 2G feature phones will account for nearly one in ten handsets sold that year, as new-to-mobile customers in emerging markets, particularly in Africa, purchase their first mobile phones.

4G handset sales volumes will grow through 2020, when they will account for 4 out of 5 handsets sold.

5G, still several years off for most potential customers, represents a way to kick-start stagnating smartphone sales as customers discover new use cases powered by ultra-high-speed data rates and super-low latency.