January 2022 it will go down in history to be the month in which sales of 5G smartphones surpassed those of 4G devices. This was reported by Counterpoint Research, according to which the market penetration of the former has reached 51% on a global scale. And it is precisely the new generation technology that has been supporting shipments and sales for some time, as shown by the data of the main analytics companies.
The direction in which the world market is moving is therefore increasingly delineated: a first overtaking of 5G against 4G was recorded last year, but it concerned exclusively the number of new subscriptions subscribed by users in the second quarter of 2021, 84 million in 5G against 71 million in 4G (NB: these are new subscriptions, not the total number of active subscriptions in which 4G still dominates by a large margin on the new generation networks).
There China is actually completing the switch to 5G: in the Asian country, in fact, the penetration rate is 84%, a true global record made possible by the wide range of smartphones available on the market in almost all price ranges and by the pressure exerted by the main telephone operators. They follow a short distance away Western Europe and North Americawhere 5G devices accounted for in January respectively 76 and 73% of total sales.
It is certainly what contributed to the historic overtaking of 5G over 4G Apple, which from October 2020 offers iPhones compatible with new generation networks. This is especially true on the North American and European markets, where iPhone 12 and 13 (and related variants) are 50 and 30% of the 5G smartphones on the market.
Nor should the contribution of Androidconsidering that the solutions proposed by the processor manufacturers – first of all Qualcomm and MediaTek – with integrated 5G modem and intended for smartphones of medium-high range. An important contribution is now also coming from the devices of low-mid range – between 150 and 250 dollars – with an increasing number of models compatible with the new networks. The increase in sales will be seen especially when the average price of 5G SoCs drops below the current $ 20.
The last segment of the market – the one under $ 150 – represents the new challenge for producers, especially in the countries of South America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East where 4G solutions still prevail today. The further (expected) increase in sales of new generation smartphones in mature markets (Europe, North America) and the (equally expected) greater penetration where 4G still prevails will give the definitive impetus to the almost complete transition to 5G.
Credits opening image: Pixabay