Nearly half (49%) of US smartphone users across all major carriers believe their current iPhone is capable of accessing 5G, despite the fact that the first Apple 5G phone is not yet available.
That’s according to a survey by wireless network performance benchmarking provider Global Wireless Solutions.
The survey found that 5G confusion extends across smartphone brands, with 29% of all smartphone users are unsure whether their phone is capable of accessing 5G. Even when looking only at users that bought smartphones this year, 24% are unsure whether their phone can access 5G.
- Rural residents – who could stand to gain the most from 5G – are largely unaware if their carriers offer 5G service.
Given the confusion, many users were found to be not willing to pay more for 5G. Those who would not pay more are also unsure how 5G will directly benefit them or are happy with their current technology. And 38% would not pay more to upgrade to a 5G phone.
Smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers are accelerating rollouts of 5G-enabled devices and networks – a global boom in 5G investment is imminent and will see 71% of companies invest in 5G over the next five years, research from Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs has revealed.
However, GWS’s findings suggest lingering confusion on 5G availability (also the case in the UK) and a lack of understanding regarding 5G capabilities. However, this should also serve as an opportunity to better educate consumers on 5G plans and benefits and help drive broader awareness and enthusiasm.
Paul Carter, founder and CEO at GWS, said: “Wireless carriers and mobile device manufacturers have made important 5G investments, but our survey demonstrates that market education is still required to help consumers better understand how 5G can impact their lives in a positive and meaningful way.
“But given the fact that 64% of consumers plan to buy a smartphone between now and the end of 2021, there is clearly an opportunity for 5G to drive enthusiasm for new products and services – assuming consumers better understand the benefits of the next generation wireless technology.”