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Retailers are using 5G and 5G-enabled smartphones to stimulate demand ahead of the festive season as top brands prepare to launch models based on the technology and telcos roll out new services.
Most firms expect 5G phones to make up the majority of shipments, while some expect prices to drop below ₹10,000 within six months, which in turn will drive adoption.
“About one-third or one-fourth of the existing phones being shipped are 5G ready, but the price is still over ₹15,000. The sub-₹10,000 threshold will be the inflection point that will drive adoption,” said Vikas Jain, co-founder of Micromax, which has now ventured into connected devices under the World of Play brand.
With the festive season approaching, top players such as Xiaomi, Realme, Motorola, Oppo and OnePlus have unveiled new 5G devices and others are expected to launch more models in the coming months. However, prices will remain on the upper side of ₹15,000.
“A consumer who upgrades their phone today will certainly do so to a 5G device. It’s more or less becoming a hygiene factor in mid-range phones across brands,” said Navkendar Singh, Vice President, Devices Research at IDC India, South Asia & ANZ. He added that brands may have to offer discounts and incentive plans to support demand this festive season. .
According to IDC, 11 million 5G smartphones were shipped in India between January 2022 and June 2022 with an average selling price of $377 or around ₹30,000. It says about 51 million 5G smartphones were shipped from 2020 to 1H22 and is expected to exceed 50% market share by 2023. However, mass market 5G phones have fewer models.
This may change with new versions. For instance, Realme launched the realme 9i 5G starting at ₹14,999 for its 4GB RAM and 64GB storage model, which went on sale on Wednesday. Earlier this month, Motorola launched the moto g62 5G starting at ₹16,249.
Analysts at Frost and Sullivan said in a recent report that manufacturers providing higher-spec devices at a lower price will be one of the main reasons why the average smartphone replacement cycle will shrink to 20 months from 24-27 months.
On the services side, Vodafone Idea on Wednesday sent messages to its users in Delhi NCR informing them that 5G network services are starting “soon” on its network.
Competitors Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel announced the launch during this month.