The cumulative 5G smartphone shipments is expected to cross the 100-million mark in the second quarter (Q2) next year and exceed 4G smartphone shipments by the end of 2023, a report showed on Wednesday.
5G share in lower price bands (less than Rs 20,000) is gradually increasing, from 4 per cent in 2021 to 14 per cent in 2022.
"It is expected to reach 30 per cent in 2023. The cost of an entry-level 5G smartphone came down to below Rs 10,000 in 2022 with the launch of the Lava Blaze 5G," according to Counterpoint Research.
The availability of cheaper 5G chipsets from Qualcomm and MediaTek has enabled OEMs to launch more 5G devices in the lower price segment, while the commercial rollout of 5G services has also driven demand for the same, the report noted.
The 5G smartphone shipments are estimated to grow 81 per cent (on-year) in 2022 driven by their expanding presence in lower price bands (Rs 20,000) and rollout of 5G networks.
However, the growth here has been limited due to component supply shortages, inflation, geopolitical conflicts and other macroeconomic issues, which have delayed 5G device launches in the budget segment.
Though OEMs have brought more 5G devices for lower price bands, they have done so by dropping or downgrading other key features like display or fast charging to lessen the impact of increasing component costs.
"We expect these constraints to ease by the end of 2023, leading to the mass adoption of 5G. Better availability of networks in major areas will also facilitate 5G smartphone growth in 2023, which is estimated to be 62 per cent YoY," the report said.
5G has been a driving force and will continue to push smartphone demand in 2023 as well, it added.