The smartphone will remain the dominant consumer device in the new decade, but the arrival of a new network will not guarantee a surge in 5G adoption, according to new GSMA Intelligence research.
Their report, The Future of Devices, provides a wealth of insight on consumer technology adoption trends over the coming years, including the outlook for smartphones, smart speakers, wearables, and other emerging categories.
Based on the results of GSMA Intelligence’s 2019 Consumer Survey, the report found that smartphone ownership among adults in most high- and middle-income countries is at 85-95 per cent.
However, only 30-40 percent of survey respondents in significant markets such as the US, Europe and Australia said the arrival of 5G is likely to result in a smartphone upgrade in the short term.
China and South Korea are much different
By contrast, markets such as China and South Korea will be early adopters; nearly 50 per cent of Chinese consumers say they will buy a 5G phone as soon as they are available.
“The device ecosystem will be critical in shaping the trajectory of 5G adoption,” said Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence.
“However, it’s a mistake to believe that consumers in every market will look at 5G upgrades in the same way. Operators and device manufacturers will need to understand consumer demand on a granular level if they hope to make the most of the 5G opportunity.”
Don’t miss the elderly
“Missing older people is a missed opportunity for tech companies and governments, given that such devices can facilitate remote monitoring for a range of conditions, reducing the volume of in-person consultations and the strain on national healthcare systems,” the research company says in a release.
This report is based on GSMA Intelligence’s 2019 Consumer Survey, which surveyed 38,000 respondents across 36 key markets, using a blend of online and face-to-face sampling methodologies.