Indian consumers are increasingly adopting 5G smartphones even before rollout of the next-gen mobile broadband technology in the country.

Research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), has estimated the share of 5G-enabled phones, out of total smartphone sales, will touch 20-25% this year.


As Chinese smartphone brands, Oppo and Realme aggressively push their 5G portfolio in India, Canalys, in turn, estimates 5G phones will capture between 15-18% of total sales. A joint report by Realme and Counterpoint Research, said even without a commercial 5G network, India’s appetite for the fast broadband tech is growing. In the January-March quarter, share of 5G smartphone sales reached 7%, and is likely to hit 21% for the full year. Competitive pricing with 4G variants is the major factor driving the popularity of 5G phones. Brands like Oppo and Realme have already launched affordable 5G smartphones at Rs 15k price points while the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Apple have 5G offerings in the mid-premium and premium range above Rs 30k.

While some consumers opt for 5G-ready phones to be future-ready, others consider having the latest tech to make a lifestyle statement, said Prabhu Ram, head-industry intelligence group at market intelligence firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).

“Given that the global smartphone ecosystem is moving towards 5G, smartphone OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are able to leverage favourable 5G supply chain dynamics and introduce 5G-ready phones across all price tiers in India,” Ram said.

Accordingly, the OEMs, he said, are paving the way for a 5G devices-ready market even prior to the 5G network implementation in India. CMR estimates the share of 5G phones will end up in the 16-20% range in 2021.


Source: Economic Times