New Counterpoint data is out and shows that 5G smartphone sales surpassed 4G for the first time in January 2022. Sales of 5G smartphones reached 51% in January. China, North America, and Western Europe were the driving forces of this increase.
According to Counterpoint, the push for 5G came from Chinese telecom operators and the readiness of OEMs to supply competitively priced 5G smartphones to consumers.
5G smartphone penetration has reached 73% in North America and 76% in Europe. Apple dominates the North American and Western European markets with a sales share of 50% and 30%, respectively. These markets saw an uptick in the sales of 5G devices after Apple released its first 5G lineup, the iPhone 12 series, in October 2020.
Counterpoint goes on to show how there is increasing ongoing demand for 5G smartphones within Apple’s user base. With an average replacement cycle of four years, many users are just now upgrading from their 4G devices.
Android contributed to one-fifth of overall 5G sales in January. Due to more affordable chips made by MediaTek and Qualcomm, smartphone prices dropped down to the $150–$250 price range. As prices dropped, 5G smartphone penetration increased.
Additionally, OEMS are focusing on the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Latin America regions next to increase 5G sales. 5G models priced $150 or lower are the sweet spot for these areas, where 4G currently dominates.
Counterpoint also states that low-end 5G SoC is currently priced at over $20. Once under $20, we expect to see more 5G devices in the budget segment.
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