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Nearly one out of every seven smartphones sold in the U.S. in August was 5G capable, according to new 5G phone ownership research from Counterpoint.

The research firm said 14% of the smartphones sold during the month were 5G devices, up sharply from the 3% of 5G capable smartphones sold in January. Counterpoint credited the increase to a drop in prices. Earlier in the year, the devices were priced over $1,000, but now many can be found for under $600.

Despite the lower prices for the 5G devices, smartphone shipments will be down this year, though demand for 5G is expected to drive a rebound in subsequent years, Telecompetitor reported previously.

Average selling prices (ASPs) for the devices dropped to $730 in July 2020, down $300 from earlier in the year, said Counterpoint senior research analyst Hanish Bhatia, in a prepared statement. “Samsung was the first to begin launching devices below $600 with the Galaxy A71 5G in June and continued it with the A51 5G in August for $499.99.”

DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) should increase competition between the carriers and continue driving down 5G smartphone ASPs, according to the research firm.

Counterpoint added that the research showed increased consumer interest in carriers with low- and mid-band 5G networks because mmWave 5G is still not available nationwide.

“5G penetration was just around 1% in 2019. However, it has steadily increased this year as more OEMs launched 5G devices,” said Jeff Fieldhack, Counterpoint research director, in a prepared statement about the 5G phone ownership research. “ We expect more OEMs to launch 5G devices as 5G chipsets continue moving down price tiers. Carriers want more of their subscriber base on 5G networks and are pushing OEMs to launch more affordable 5G smartphones.”

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One thought on “Average Price for 5G Phone Drops, 5G Phone Ownership on the Rise

  1. Currently the “cheapest 5G device in the US” crown belongs to T-Mobile, with their rebadged Coolpad device, at $400. The release of this phone is rather recent, so I expect ASPs for 5G phones are down to ~$600 at this point. As prices drop, so will the price premium for sub-6 5G, though I expect the premium for mmWave will remain at $50-100 on devices cheap enough for that price difference to matter.

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