Currently, 5G phones on the US market are priced at a premium; a majority cost over $1,000. However, this is set to change as chipmakers roll out technology that will allow for cheaper 5G phones, taking the technology closer to mainstream support in 2020, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Along with evolving network deployment timelines and the need for consumer awareness and education around 5G, the lack of affordable 5G phones has been a hindrance to consumer adoption. However, Qualcomm’s newest mid-range 5G integrated chipset, the Snapdragon 765, announced at its tech summit earlier this month in Maui, Hawaii, will help lower barriers to entry in 5G and bring down the price of 5G-enabled smartphones. This particular chipset supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum, which are being used for 5G deployments. It also includes an integrated modem, which will allow mid-range smartphones to have improved power efficiency and, thus, longer battery life, addressing a major consumer pain point.
Anisha Bhatia, Senior Device Analyst at GlobalData, said: “In 2020, we will see manufacturers such as Lenovo and HMD (Nokia) in the U.S., along with Xiaomi and OPPO in Europe and Asia, hitting the market with lower-priced 5G smartphones in the $500-$700 range, with some even being offered for less than $500.
“As more devices become available across price tiers, 2020 will be the ramp-up year for 5G. Coverage will continue to grow across regions, and carriers will engage with partners to find ways to monetize 5G devices and services.”