5G Smartphone Sales Are on the Rise in the U.S., But Accounted For Less Than 1% of Devices in 2019, According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Tracking Service

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From first half 2019 to second half 2019 5G device sales grew nearly nine-fold.

As 5G becomes a standard feature in flagship models and more affordable 5G mid-tier device options debut, 5G adoption will grow and potentially begin to drive upgrade cycles.

According to The NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Tracking service, 5G smartphone sales in the U.S. accounted for less than 1% of devices in 2019, but saw strong growth from the first half of the year to the second driven by the introduction of new products from Samsung, LG, and OnePlus, as well as an increasing number of markets with 5G coverage. In fact, from 1H 2019 to 2H 2019 the number of 5G devices was up by nearly 9x.

Smartphone pricing and lack of clear use case for 5G were the main obstacles to purchase in 2019, but we expect this to change in 2020,” said Brad Akyuz, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence. “As 5G becomes a standard feature in flagship models and more affordable 5G mid-tier device options debut, 5G adoption will grow and potentially begin to drive upgrade cycles.”

Based on NPD’s latest Mobile Connectivity Report, 5G awareness in the second half of 2019 reached nearly 9 in 10 consumers (89%), up from 73% in the first half of the year. In addition to growing awareness, 65% of consumers in 2H 2019 reported interest in purchasing a 5G smartphone, with only 15% saying they were “not at all interested.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 29 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, video games, and watches. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup and @npdtech.

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Megan Scott
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