A dismal under 10 per cent of American smartphone users are spending over $1,000 on their smartphones and since these users will be the target audience for 5G devices, which typically hit the market around the $1,200 price tag, this brings into question how quickly they will upgrade to 5G, says a new report.
According to market research firm NPD Group's "Mobile Phone Tracking service" report, though the majority of consumers have not fully embraced devices at these high-end price points, those in the top 10 DMAs account for more than one-third or 39 per cent of $1,000+ active smartphones.
"Consumers are holding onto their smartphones for longer periods, which has presented a challenge for the smartphone market," Brad Akyuz, Executive Director, Industry Analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, said in a statement.
"Manufacturers and carriers are expecting 5G to help reinvigorate the upgrade cycle, but pricing could present another hurdle," Akyuz added.
However, the good news is, 5G awareness and purchase potential is strong, according to the market research firm.
In fact, awareness has reached nearly 3 out of 4 consumers, thus, totaling 73 per cent, at the end of the first half of 2019.
This is up from 44 per cent at the end of the first half of 2018.
Alongside increasing awareness, 33 per cent of smartphone owners report interest in purchasing a 5G-enabled smartphone.