5G smartphones will surpass 4G ones by 2023

More than half of smartphone shipments will be 5G-enabled in the next four years, according to a Canalys report.

Separating the hype from reality in initial 5G mobile networks and smartphones James Sanders and Karen Roby discuss the immediate future of 5G mobile networks and smartphones, and how existing equipment cannot be updated to 5G via software updates.

5G-enabled smart devices will reach 800 million units in 2023, occupying 51% of all smartphone shipments, according to a Canalys report released on Monday. This means 5G smartphones will outnumber 4G smartphones in the next four years.

The rise of 5G, the fifth generation of mobile smartphone networks, will aid the widespread impact of Internet of Things (IoT) adoption. This next generation of mobile handsets are expected to have a better battery life, quicker processing power, and lower latency, according to a GlobalData report, driving global 5G adoption. 

SEE: 5G mobile networks: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The CAGR for 5G smartphones between now and 2023 will hit approximately 180%, with vendors predicted to ship nearly 1.9 million 5G smartphones to the market by the end of 2023, the Canalys report found.

China is predicted to account for the most 5G smartphone shipments at 34%, with North America following at 19%, and Asia Pacific with 17%, the report added. 

"Mass-market adoption of 5G smartphones does not necessarily mean a successful 5G deployment. Full 5G deployment will take much longer, and be much more complex than the previous network generation, in order to realize the benefits of 5G beyond eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband)," Nicole Peng, vice president of mobility at Canalys, said in a press release. "And this is very costly, putting more pressure on global operators, which are already facing declining revenue and more price competition from MVNOs."

For more, check out TechRepublic's article on 5G cybersecurity concerns and physical challenges

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