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Higher price, fewer models and brands pose a challenge for the adoption of 5G smartphones in Gulf

Despite the ongoing buzz surrounding the launch of 5G smartphones in the UAE and the GCC at the moment, industry specialists expect the adoption to remain slow.

"The average selling price remains moderately high, while the options in terms of models and brands are still limited," said Nabila Popal, senior research manager at International Data Corporation. TechRadar Middle East.

She also said that brands are seeing growth in the mid-range, and consumers are somewhat unaware of the benefits or impact that 5G can have.

Isam Arshad, research analyst at Euromonitor International, said that consumers in the UAE are price sensitive and that the majority is in the middle class segment.

"The expectation is that salaries will remain the same this year compared to last year's growth. People are expected to postpone their purchases," he said.

5 devices that contribute 2.2% to the total in 2020

The IDC research firm expects the share of 5G devices in the GCC to be 2.2% of the total smartphone market of 17.33 million in 2020, with steady growth thereafter.

Akash Balachandran, senior research analyst at IDC, said acceptance is likely to increase significantly in the medium to long term as new models are rolled out, but will remain conservative in the short term for the reasons mentioned above.

ZTE launched its Axon 10 Pro for AED 5,555 while Huawei launched its Mate 20 X 5G for AED 3,523 without VAT of 5% in the UAE.

Major players are expected to launch 5G smartphones later this year.

It will take years to reach a significant market share

Popal said that price does indeed remain a horde, but Mate 20 X tries to remedy this somewhat, but it should be noted that the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is a 5G update from an older device.

"5G devices at the stated price can certainly be attractive to early adopters, but it is unlikely that they will get much hold of the average consumer who probably prefers the current flagship devices (although 5G is missing)," she said.

The 5G devices in the GCC are expected to grow very robust year-on-year, Balachandran said.

However, since the installed base is almost non-existent at the moment, he said it would probably take several years for 5G phones to reach a significant market share.

  • Consumers do not come to 5G as quickly as with 4G
  • Sales of premium smartphones in the UAE will grow by 12% in 2019
  • Consumer electronics in the United Arab Emirates are growing this year by 6% to AED 14.2b
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