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US 5G: Consumer Market First Sightings Positive Outlook

by David Kerr | Apr 15, 2021

Strategy Analytics consumer insights team has just returned from the field with our latest probe of consumer views on a wide range of topics including smartphone and 5G in the US, UK and China.

This blog presents early findings from the survey of 1500 consumers in the US and will be followed in the coming weeks with more analysis and interpretation for other geographies and focusing on other hot topics.

First Sightings from our latest US Consumer Insights shared some interesting Perspectives on #5G.

  • 29% think they already have 5G. Almost half of AT&T owners think they have 5G
  • 75% of flagship buyers expect to buy a 5G smartphone next.
  • Video creators top 5G adoption plans
  • 1 in 4 LG users planned to buy a 5G smartphone next? Who will pick up this volume?
  • Almost 1 in 3 don’t know if they will pick 5G for their next smartphone.
  US5Gspplansapr21

Among early adopters of 5G smartphones, we have seen higher than average share for African Americans (14%) and the Hispanic population (10%).

  • 60% of those who will buy in the next 6 months will choose a 5G smartphone
  • Not surprisingly, males are most bullish about 5G with 62% expecting to buy for their next smartphone versus 51% of females.
  • Video creators on smartphones are among the most likely to buy 5G for their next device at 70%+
  • Multiple device owners with smartwatches, smart speakers, and smart home products are most likely to report 5G as their preferred source for their next smartphones. Almost 3 in 4 in this group.

5G adoption intention for next smartphone is significantly higher among households with children. A phenomenon we saw in the previous generational shift as well.

  • Those who feel most impacted by Covid-19 are significantly more open to 5G than those who have seen limited impact.

    Positive news for new entrants to the US Smartphone market is that over half of those who expect to buy 5G for their next smartphone agreed with  the statement  "I would buy a new brand of smartphone if it had good reviews and was a good price".

  • The devil is in the details of course but still this suggests a degree of openness to new players.
  • AT&T and T-Mobile customers appear more open to new 5G brands compared to the more traditional Verizon customer

US consumer expect to pay more for 5G smartphones compared to their current device. As seen in the chart there is a premium expected of 66% between the average 4G smartphone spend and average 5G spend among US smartphone owners.

5gdevicepricessurvus

There are many interesting areas which SA will be exploring with our clients around smartphones and 5G in coming months.

  • A more detailed drill down on purchase of 5G devices by key demographics particularly age, children in household, by brand and mobile operator
  • SA will refine a segmentation approach for the US market which has identified 5 discrete and unique groupings. A deep dive analysis on ownership, usage, profiles, attitudes, role in society, importance of status, attitudes to technology will be developed/.
  • A probe on the link between Smartphone expectations/preferences/willingness to pay and consumers experience of the Covid-19 crisis
  • Attitudes and intentions towards refurbished devices may be subject to change among some key due to the higher price points of 5G devices
  • Some interesting intersections between hybrid and electric vehicles and 5G choice appear worthy of further exploration compared to traditional fuel vehicles.
  • The growing trend and interest in sustainability appears to have impact in certain segments in terms of preferred brands.
  • Attitudes to mobile phone manufacturers compared to other industries (telcos, transport, automotive, retail, media in terms of their efforts for sustainability will be probed.

Watch this space. Feel free to drop me an email or reach out on social media.

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