Juniper Research: 5G smartphone trends

A new study by Juniper Research has found that 5G‑compatible smartphones will account for over 50% of smartphone sales revenue by 2025; rising to $337 billion from $108 billion in 2021. It urged mobile handset vendors to ensure hardware maximizes the benefits of future mobile cloud computing solutions. Mobile cloud computing enables service providers to offload intensive tasks to the cloud; freeing on-device resources for essential device processes.

The new research, 5G Smartphones: Trends, Regional Analysis & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, predicts that successful handset vendors will include radios that are able to process large bandwidths and ultra-low latency to ensure that handset users are able to use cloud computing services efficiently, whilst remaining price competitive.

Android OS Handsets to Dominate in Emerging Regions

The report anticipates that increasing the availability of lower-tier 5G smartphones is crucial to propagate 5G handset adoption in emerging markets. It predicts that by 2025, global Android smartphone prices will be 65% lower than global iOS smartphone prices. It also highlights that this lower average cost of Android devices will lead to Android dominating 5G handset markets in regions such as Latin America.

Conversely, the research expects that the enduring popularity of iOS devices in developed markets will make 40% of global 5G smartphone revenue attributable to North America and Europe by 2025.

Development of 5G Handsets:
It is likely that the smartphone market will not see meaningful growth until another significant upgrade becomes available to the majority of consumers, not just those capable of purchasing high-end premium handsets. In addition to developments such as foldable handsets and biometrics, smartphone manufacturers are anticipating that the widespread introduction of 5G handsets will serve to  reinvigorate the market, in the same way that the introduction of 4G in 2010 boosted the sales of OEMs, such as HTC and Samsung.


‘Right-to-Repair’ Laws to Impact Shipments

The report warns that long-term 5G smartphone shipment revenue will be limited by impending ‘right-to-repair’ legislation in North America and Europe, as more handset users choose to repair older models rather than upgrading to newer generation devices.

Research author Adam Wears explained:

‘The effect of these laws will not be felt initially, as consumers adopt 5G smartphones to leverage the high speeds and reduced latency of 5G networks. Hardware vendors must use this opportunity to build out new device capabilities to encourage consumers to continue regularly upgrading and avoid churn to competitors.’


2 thoughts on “Juniper Research: 5G smartphone trends

  1. According to new data released by Omdia, a Light Reading sister company, the share of 5G smartphones will reach 43% of the overall market in 2021. It’s more than double last year’s 19% market share (as calculated by Omdia). The analyst firm expects the overwhelming majority of 5G smartphones (81%) to be confined to sub-6GHz frequencies, however.

    With commercial adoption of millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum likely to pick up next year, particularly in China and “major Asian countries,” Omdia reckons the share of mmWave-enabled 5G smartphones – as a proportion of all 5G smartphones – will increase from 19% this year to 32% in 2022.

    Making mmWaves

    The promise of 5G mmWave, which typically refers to frequencies above 24GHz, is of course delivery of much more bandwidth (and in a more cost-effective way in urban deployments) than is possible with sub-6GHz spectrum. It can act as a complement to low- and mid-band spectrum as demand for capacity increases.

    Peter Jarich, head of GSMA Intelligence, speaking at MWC Shanghai earlier this year, said past efforts to commercialize mmWave had failed because there wasn’t the urgent demand for capacity to carry data. “As we look at capacity demands there’s this recognition that new spectrum is required,” he said.

    Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on Light Reading.
    One sign of industry momentum came recently from Qualcomm, which boasted that some 43 operators and equipment manufacturers had committed to collaborating with it on deploying 5G in mmWave spectrum.

    New research

    Omdia’s 5G smartphone forecast forms part of its newly launched Smartphone Feature Forecast Database. The data shows low-end smartphones with set prices of between $91 and $150 per unit hold the largest share of the global smartphone market, but the price of smartphones is continuing to rise due to increased demand for 5G smartphones and improved hardware features.

    As demand for premium smartphones has also steadily increased recently, Omdia thinks that shipments of premium smartphones – with a set price over $751 – are expected to exceed 200 million units for the first time this year.

    The Smartphone Feature Forecast report, explains Omdia, goes beyond top-line and model-level shipment numbers. Among the trends explored are 5G connectivity, display dimensions, sensors, cameras and price tiers.—omdia/d/d-id/771671?

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