5G smartphone sales surpassed 4G smartphone sales globally in January: Counterpoint

China has over 87 percent 5G penetration globally.

Highlights
  • 5G smartphone sales comprised 51 percent of total smartphone sales globally in January 2022, surpassing the 4G smartphone sales for the first time
  • 5G smartphones contributed over 16 percent of the total smartphone sales in 2021 in India
  • The budget 5G processors available in India under Rs 20,000 smartphones contributed one-fifth of the 5G sales in January 2022

5G smartphone sales witnessed massive growth in January, as per a new report from Counterpoint. The 5G smartphone sales accounted for 51 percent of total smartphone sales globally in January 2022, surpassing the 4G smartphone sales for the first time. This growth in share for 5G smartphones was primarily driven by sales in China, North America, and Western Europe. Furthermore, the report stated that Chinese telecom operators’ quest for 5G and original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) flooded the consumers with reasonably priced 5G devices, leading towards this growth.

Show Full Article

In India, 5G smartphones contributed over 16 percent of the total sales in 2021. The number is up from 3 percent, seen in 2020. Further, the firm predicts that in 2022, 5G sales will rise to around 40 percent in this market. If the average 5G handset price hovers around Rs 12,000 price segment, chances are that the sales number could cross the 50 percent mark in Q4 of 2022.

5G smartphone

The analyst believes that Apple has a significant role in this number, thanks to the new iPhones. Apple shifted to 5G handsets in October 2022 with its iPhone 12 series, which lead to a natural increase in the sales of 5G smartphones in North America and Western Europe. iPhone buyers—who have been holding on to their older iPhones for years and are eager for a new handset are driving this demand. Many people are taking the four-year replacement cycle for iPhones—which is the industry standard.

Rise of affordable 5G smartphones

Another major factor, according to the analyst, is the budget 5G processors available in India under Rs 20,000. MediaTek and Qualcomm offer affordable chipsets in the mid-to-high price segment of USD 250 – USD 400 (Approx. Rs 20,000 – Rs 32,000). The price of these chipsets has dropped even more now, ranging between USD 150 – USD 250 (Approx. Rs 12,000 – Rs 20,000), contributing to one-fifth of the 5G sales in January.

The Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Latin America are OEMs’ next focus areas to increase 5G smartphone sales. 5G handsets available in the sub-USD 150 (Approx. Rs 12,000) price segment are the sweet spot for these regions, which are currently dominated by 4G devices. The low-end 5G SoC is priced more than USD 20(Approx. Rs 1,500) at present. Once it comes down to sub-USD 20(Approx. Rs 1,500), we will start seeing 5G smartphones in the budget segment.” The analyst said in the report.