5G Phones Have Taken Over

5G phones are now so cheap that all but the poor are buying them. They still do nothing important but for $0 (Apple) to ~$40 more (Most others, falling) most people don’t want to buy a phone soon to be obsolete.

80-90% of the phones sold in China & Korea are 5G. >70% in the US. Similar figures for Japan, Australia, Canada, and Western Europe, although I don’t have data.

In India, 1/3rd of the smartphones sold in Q2 (~11M), where 5G won’t be deployed until October. I predict more than half will be 5G after that. I expect ~70% by the end of 2023. That’s about 100 million per year in India.

Likely sales in China in 2023 are > 260 million of 300-350 million total. The US, likely >110 million of 140-150M. I’m not sure whether the India boom will come early or late in 2023, but 80-100 million of 140 million is likely.

Currently on JD.com, there are 7 5G phones at $150-225. On T-Mobile US, eight phones are between $170 and $252. These are mostly 4 camera phones, 6.5 inches, and have large batteries. That’s fine for most people.

These prices will fall rapidly because chips have gone from shortage to surplus. Qorvo took a $119 million write-off as inventories ballooned.

0 important applications require 5G rather than 4G

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