Financial Times reports that along with developed markets, south-east Asian countries – where 5G was rolled out at a much faster pace as compared to most European and North American countries – consumer demand for 5G smartphones has begun to see a decline.
“5G devices’ demand has come to a standstill”
As per a report published by Canalys in August, the demand for 5G devices has come to a standstill. One of the reasons that the market research firm pointed out for this decrease in demand is growing inflation. This has resulted in consumers looking for longer-lasting devices over less practical qualities such as 5G. “Practical uses of 5G have yet to be seen,” says an analyst who also highlighted that 5G is currently unnecessary because “4G speeds are sufficient in day-to-day usage.”
“5G devices experienced their first sequential decline to 18% of overall smartphone shipments. 5G deployment in developing Southeast Asian markets has been abysmal ensuring the hype for 5G has dwindled, and demand has shifted to more practical aspects of smartphones such as battery life, storage, processor speed, and camera quality,” Chiew Le Xuan, Canalys Research Analyst, had said at that time.
Factors driving a slowdown temporary
The report also suggests that some of the factors, such as lower consumer confidence against a backdrop of soaring inflation, driving a slowdown in demand are temporary. “The consumer 5G market is expected to grow across Asia in the coming years,” the report said.
5G in India
The report says that there are over 200 operators worldwide who have launched a 5G service but only about 30 of them have done so with 5G standalone. In India Airtel and Jio are leading the pack to roll out 5G services in the country.
It is to be noted that Jio is using the Standalone (SA) 5G technology as compared to the Non-standalone (NSA) technology being deployed by other telecom providers. SA 5G technology is claimed to offer higher data transfer speed and lower latency than the NSA technology.
Airtel recently expanded its 5G coverage to more cities. It is now available in 12 cities – up from 8 cities during the launch: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Guwahati, Panipat, Pune, Nagpur, Varanasi, and Gurugram.
Jio also expanded the availability of its ‘True’ 5G network in India. Its 5G network is now available across 12 major cities in India. These include Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.