5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach 100 million units by 2021.
Counterpoint Research, a U.S. market research firm, revealed on the 16th that 5G smartphone shipments are expected to grow 255% by 2021, almost reaching 100 million units.
According to the research firm, growth will be slow during the initial stages of commercial development in 2019, but there will be an uptick in sales once each country starts to shift from non-standalone (5LTE concurrent connection) to standalone networks.
The overall handset market will slow to a CAGR of 1-2 percent from 2018 to 2021 due to market saturation and product innovations that don’t spur growth. 5G smartphones will begin gaining shares in the market, but the overall transition to 5G is expected to be slow and steady.
Kang Kyoung-soo, a Counterpoint analyst, said, “First of all, the 5G standard has not been established yet, so the growth rate is expected to be low in the early 5G phase, as there are uncertainties over products and services. We also expect that 5G chips will have a higher price, which will drive the increased cost of devices. 5G capable devices will be only available for premium smartphones, and only a handful of countries will be deploying the first 5G infrastructure.”
In 2019, intensive development is expected to take place in South Korea, the United States, China, and Japan, which have large 5G launch plans. Other countries, especially in Europe, are more likely to leapfrog to standalone 5G as they will want to wait for concrete business cases to arise, before fully committing to the transition.
“Despite the various possibilities of 5G, the market expansion is expected to be delayed somewhat because 5G killer service is not clear yet. In particular, since 4G and 5G do not show any significant technological changes in terms of mobile services, commercialization of 5G will be relatively slow compared to 3G and 4G. However, since 5G is expected to induce business renewal in various industries, it is being developed as a state-led initiative in terms of economic development, and these countries will be the ones where 5G will be commercialized first,” said Park Jin-suk, a Counterpoint analyst.