Commentary

Advent Of 5G To Advance Broadband -- But Maybe Not Smartphone Sales

Mobile consumers are ready for faster and more reliable Internet speeds, and the arrival of 5G cellular technology might provide a much-needed boost to smartphone sales.

That’s according to Deloitte’s first U.S. Connectivity and Mobile Trends report, which finds that 67% of consumers say that they would be more likely to buy a new smartphone once 5G-compatible smartphones are available.

Additionally, 62% of consumers say they will likely replace their home internet with 5G WiFi service once it is available in their area.

With 5G's rollout, the next generation of mobile broadband is expected to gain serious traction in the United States next year, according to a recent report from wireless-infrastructure provider Ericsson. 

With U.S. households averaging 11 connected devices -- including 7 smart screens to view content -- the average consumer has never had more need for faster, safer connectivity.

Yet, without what consumers see as any real reason to upgrade their smartphones, their refresh cycle has recently been growing.

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Presently, nearly one in three consumers have a smartphone that is two years or older, according to Deloitte.

What’s more, fewer than 60% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone in the next two years.

In part, that’s because more than half of consumers (52%) believe their current phone has the capabilities they need, or that the functionality of new phones is not advanced enough to warrant an upgrade.

Additionally, one in five consumers believe that new phones are too expensive, although only 12% indicated that they can't actually afford to buy a new phone.

Meanwhile, consumers are concerned about the privacy and security of their smartphone data (59%), smart speakers (73%) and home automation devices (72%), while 91% believe they should be able to control, edit, and delete their personal data.

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