A third of the people who voted in last week’s poll plans to buy a 5G phone in 2020. Another third are still prioritizing the other features on a phone, but are not against having a 5G-capable phone. Only the final third voted a firm “no”.
Among those, the most common explanation as to why not is that the carriers in their country are yet to launch their next-generation networks. In many regions this will not happen this year or even next year.
This limits the value of 5G connectivity from the perspective of future-proofing one’s purchase. It’s much better to get an awesome camera now than prepare for high bandwidth that’s a few years out.
However, as one commenter points out, it won’t be long until you can’t buy a non-5G phone. This year, the flagship chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung rely on external modems, so it’s still possible to have top performance on a 4G phone. But as soon as the chip makers integrate the modems, flagship CPUs and GPUs will be permanently tied to paying the premium for a 5G phone.
And there will be a premium – if the recent leak about Galaxy S20 prices is correct, the difference between getting a 4G model and a 5G model could be €100. Not that this would deter early adopters – 2% of voters already have a 5G phone, even though those are fairly rare right now.
The good news for those with a keen interest in the new standard but without the budget to pay the premium is that mid-range and even sub-$200 5G phones are on the way.