681 million 5G handsets to ship in 2022: ABI Research

June 2nd, 2021 | by Alfred Siew
681 million 5G handsets to ship in 2022: ABI Research

Some 681 million 5G handsets are expected to ship in 2022, according to ABI Research, as the momentum for new devices supporting the latest mobile network picks up.

The research firm is predicting more models that target the lower-priced segment in the next year, as phone makers look to differentiate themselves.

While phone makers are looking at cutting-edge designs, screen technologies and cameras, many are also looking at emerging innovations such as ultrawide band (UWB), rollable displays and super-fast charging technologies, it added.

This means more options for users jumping onto the 5G bandwagon. In Singapore, this would come at a good time, as 5G rollouts expand to the rest of the island in the coming months.

Last week, Singtel said it was launching its 5G Standalone network, the first to do so in Singapore. StarHub is also prepping its network to be launched this year.

With more 5G phone models arriving in the shelves, flagship models that are priced at a premium will need to find new ways to differentiate themselves.

A year ago, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra and Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro were the first two models to offer 5G in Singapore, even when networks here were not ready here. Each easily cost more than S$1,000. Today, however, mid-end models such as Oppo’s S$529 Reno5 Z supports 5G.

With the quickening ubiquity of 5G, upcoming flagship smartphones from key vendors will need to sport additional features to keep leading the market, said David McQueen, research director at ABI Research.

Besides phones, the research company also expects what it calls “connected compute devices” such as tablets, Chromebooks and laptops, to sport 5G.

Dozens of models of such always-on 5G devices will be out in 2021, including the iPad Pro, it stated. Sales of such devices are expected to exceed 10 million by 2022.

There will certainly be more laptops sporting 5G in the coming months. Intel this week showed off a new module that laptop makers can easily slot into the portable PCs to link users up to the speedy mobile network.

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