5G is still a relatively new technology and is only located in select areas of major cities in the U.S. Even within these cities, much of that 5G network is considered sub6 GHz (spectrum frequency below 6 GHz) which offers only slightly faster download speeds than the current mobile standard long-term evolution (LTE) networks. The high-speed future of 5G relies on the growth of mmWave (frequency above 24GHz) which offers faster digital speeds over shorter distances and typically is used in urban areas.
Despite the current technological challenges, wireless service providers continue to expand their 5G coverage. 5G-capable phones are seeing a dramatic shift in 2020 as more big brands are announcing their 5G phones. CTA expects unit shipments for 5G handsets to reach almost 15 million units this year, which is an 800% increase from 2019. As manufacturers diversify their 5G handset offerings to reach more consumers, 5G uptake will increase dramatically over the next two years. The outlook of 5G smartphones is bright, as CTA projects that over 76% of all smartphone sales in 2022 will have 5G capabilities.
Another interesting development inthe smartphone industry is the rise of foldable display phones. These phones are built with a flexible or foldable screen that allows the user to transition from a tablet size device to a phone size device. CTA estimates that only 50,000 units were sold in 2019, but over 600,000 are expected to ship in 2020, which is a 1100% year-over-year increase. There are still some quirks to work out with this new technology, as manufacturers continue to improve upon this new form factor and experiment with various folding mechanisms and screen sizes.
Because of the high household penetration rate and longer replacement cycles, the switch from LTE to 5G-capable phones and newer technologies such as foldable screens will benefit the smartphone industry. CTA projects that the smartphone industry will bounce back in a big way, generating over $78 billion in shipment revenues in 2021.
CTA expects unit shipments for 5G handsets to reach almost 15 million units this year, which is an 800% increase from 2019.
CTA projects that over 76% of all smartphone sales in 2022 will have 5G capabilities.
CTA estimates that only 50,000 units were sold in 2019, but over 600,000 are expected to ship in 2020, which is a 1100% year-over-year increase.
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