From the first half to the second half of 2019, 5G device sales grew nearly nine-fold, according to The NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Tracking service. While 5G smartphone sales in the U.S. accounted for less than 1% of devices in 2019, according to NPD Group, strong growth from the first half of the year to the second was driven by the introduction of new products from Samsung, LG, and OnePlus, as well as an increasing number of markets with 5G coverage.
“Smartphone pricing and lack of clear use case for 5G were the main obstacles to purchase in 2019, but we expect this to change in 2020,” says Brad Akyuz, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “As 5G becomes a standard feature in flagship models and more affordable 5G mid-tier device options debut, 5G adoption will grow and potentially begin to drive upgrade cycles.”
Based on NPD’s latest Mobile Connectivity Report, 5G awareness in the second half of 2019 reached nearly 9 in 10 consumers (89%), up from 73% in the first half of the year. In addition to growing awareness, 65% of consumers in the second half of 2019 reported interest in purchasing a 5G smartphone, with only 15% saying they were “not at all interested.”