Counterpoint Research’s 5G Consumer Opinion Survey + Rebuttal

SOURCE: Counterpoint Research

Out of the total number of US consumers polled by Counterpoint Research’s 5G Consumer Opinion Survey, 81% find 5G ‘appealing’ or ‘very appealing’ over 4G service. Further, purchasing intent for 5G handsets is high. Over 59% of respondents were ‘very interested’ or ‘extremely interested’ for purchasing a 5G smartphone.

5G Consumer Poll - What are the Key Benefits of 5G

Commenting on the findings, Tom Kang, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, said, “This study is good news for handset OEMs and carriers who have invested heavily in 5G. Consumers have a very positive opinion about 5G despite not having a clear understanding of its capabilities. The study revealed there is tremendous interest in 5G and that over 30% of consumers are willing to buy a 5G device even if 5G is not yet available where they live.”

Another insight the Counterpoint survey revealed was that consumers do not have high initial expectations of 5G. Consumers look forward to faster download speeds and improved network experience of currently available applications.

Despite rather low service expectations, 95% of respondents expect to pay more for their 5G smartphone than what they paid for a 4G smartphone. A total of 75% of the respondents commented they expected to pay US$1,000 or less.

Research Director Jeff Fieldhack commented, “There appears to be a price ceiling at US$1,000 for most consumers. This is an important data point for handset OEMs. The positive news for handset OEMs is that there is very high brand loyalty when buying 5G devices. Even handset OEMs with low overall market share had brand loyalty above 82%. The loyalty is not nearly as high on the carrier side. Almost 50% of respondents were willing to switch carriers for access to 5G. The big four US carriers were smart to all launch 5G nearly simultaneously and not fall behind on the marketing war.”


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Analyst Contacts:

Jeff Fieldhack
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Tom Kang
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Opinion:  The consumers polled have been hoodwinked by wireless carriers and equipment companies that have announced pre-standard “5G” roll-outs.  These are mostly all based on 3GPP Rel 15 5G NR NSA which will be replaced by 3GPP Rel 16 in 2020.  Very few 5G smartphones are available and they only work on a single “5G” carrier network, i.e. there is no roaming.

Lightreading reported today that 5G mmWave smartphones overheat when the outside temperature is high.

The expensive ($1,300) and short-range (up to 2,000 feet) Samsung S10 5G phones that are being used for early consumer tests of 5G promise speeds of over 1 Gbit/s on 5G networks.  The catch? They can overheat as the temperature gets hotter.

“When I ran tests, the phone’s 5G often switched off due to overheating, leaving me with a 4G connection,” reports the Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern in a multi-city test of the 5G devices recently.

During 80 and 90-degree days, In Atlanta, New York and Chicago, Stern used ice packs, air conditioning in cars or simply the sun going down to cool the phones.

Samsung says the S10 5G phone can switch to a 4G connection when the phone reaches a certain temperature to preserve battery life and optimize operation. “As 5G technology and the ecosystem evolve, it’s only going to get better,” a Samsung spokeswoman told the Journal.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon presently operate limited mmWave 5G networks in cities in the US.  The higher-frequency 28GHz and 39GHz bands used in millimeter wave can have short signal coverage ranges, don’t work indoors and could even suffer from fingers directly blocking the high-frequency antennas.

A Lightreading report (sponsored by Ericsson) states:

43 % of iPhone owners and 39 percent of Android users with new devices bought in the past year say the smartphone form factors and features of today are not capable of taking advantage of 5G promises.

Globally, 50 percent of consumers believe that smartphones will still exist but we will all be wearing AR glasses by 2025.

“The smartphone will be dead in five years’ time,” predicts Johan Hagegård at IMRSV, an AR/VR innovation house. “I will instead have smart glasses in front of me all the time.”

Matt Stagg of EE agrees with this bold prediction: “The smartphone as we see it now does not have anything on it. It can’t take advantage of 5G, such as holographic apps, in the longer term.” Maybe it doesn’t stop there.

Maarten Ectors, Chief Innovation Officer of Legal & General, thinks that screens will be replaced altogether. “We will be going away from a world dominated by screens to other ways of projecting imagery; for example, three-dimensional projection or translucent types of screen. Glasses will come with projection capabilities for commercial usage.”

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One thought on “Counterpoint Research’s 5G Consumer Opinion Survey + Rebuttal

  1. We Tested 5G Across America. It’s Crazy Fast—and a Hot Mess
    In tests, the 5G often switched off due to summer heat, leaving our columnist to cool the devices with ice packs or air conditioners

    Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, one of the first 5G phones, doesn’t work reliably when it’s above 80-or-so degrees. While running a download test or two, the phone would overheat and sever the 5G signal. I had to get creative chilling out my test phones. ❄️(Yes, ice coolers.)

    This is just one of many reasons I can confidently say 5G isn’t ready for any of us yet. While the speeds I got were knock-your-socks-off fast—52X the average 4G speed! 18X my home broadband connection!—the stars really had to align for me to get them. On AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, service is only available in small pockets of the launch cities and you must be outdoors. Sprint has wider coverage, with a tradeoff of slower speeds.

    There’s still plenty to be excited about with the arrival of 5G. It’s just going to be a long drive—with AC at full blast—to get there.

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