realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, today released a whitepaper titled “Making 5G Global: Accessibility for All” in partnership with Counterpoint Research. The paper explores the adoption of 5G smartphones globally, the current market landscape, technical trends of the 5G evolution, and the leading brands and regions taking up 5G.
Global 5G smartphone sales continue to grow steeply, but a tale of two markets unfolds
According to the paper, the global adoption of 5G is outpacing all previous generations. In Q1 2021, within just one year after the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network, almost one out of every three smartphones sold worldwide was supported by 5G. Developed markets have been driving 5G adoption. However, this is expected to change as more emerging markets are starting to launch commercial 5G services.
A steep decline in smartphone prices are helping to drive up adoption rates
The whitepaper unveiled some surprising findings on the price trends of 5G smartphones: while premium segments have traditionally dominated in the early adoption stage of previous generations, 5G has brought a new dynamic to the market. In 2020, 5G phones in the low-to-mid-range price segments accounted for nearly 40% of all 5G devices sold. With average selling prices (ASP) likely to continue declining by double-digits in the foreseeable future, it is expected that one out of every two smartphones sold globally will support 5G by the end of 2022.
Design and performance are key as young users upgrade to their first 5G device
realme contributed to the paper with its survey findings and insights on young people’s usage trends and expectations on 5G phones, which suggest that although affordability is important, young users are not willing to compromise on design or performance. They expect 5G phones to show how the new technology is a radical evolution from the past, including through unique designs and feature sets. There is a strong desire amongst young consumers for thinner, lighter, and more appealing designs, along with improved functional elements such as screens and battery capacity.
realme is joining the ranks of the leading 5G smartphone players
In addition, the whitepaper explored the market share of 5G phone sales globally in 2020 and named realme the world’s fastest-growing player with a 65% YoY growth in 2020. realme first became one of the top ten 5G smartphone vendors in Q1 2020, due to the company’s strong online presence and robust portfolio across the mid-end segment. In the highly competitive US$100 – US$199 wholesale ASP band, realme ranked third, while also gaining significant market share in the US$200 – US$299 mid-end range.
Sky Li, CEO of realme, commented, “It’s encouraging to learn that the global adoption rate of 5G continues to grow steadily with developed markets experiencing adoption levels approaching 80%-90% while emerging economies are set to become the next big growth driver of 5G. realme is committed to popularizing 5G and is well-positioned to do so with our strong global presence, particularly in emerging markets, unique connection with young, savvy consumers, significant investment in our product R&D, and a diverse portfolio of 5G devices.”
“realme believes that 5G smartphone development has entered the 2.0 era, and a more complete 5G mobile experience is gradually becoming the new standard. We intend to further increase our 5G offerings, providing a more enhanced 5G mobile experience not only through premium product specs, but also more innovative designs. We will also expand our product portfolio to offer affordable devices without compromising on quality and premium flagship products leading on technological innovation,” added Madhav Sheth, VP of realme, and CEO of realme India and Europe.
Peter Richardson, VP and Co-founder at Counterpoint Research, noted in the whitepaper, “Every generation of cellular technology has seen a different mix of players taking the lead. In 3G it was Nokia, with Samsung taking over in 4G. As we look ahead, the list of players is growing more diverse. realme is one of the fastest growing brands in the 5G era, thanks to its appeal to younger users who are bound to form a core part of the 5G market.”