The 5G Price Tag on Smartphones

January 08, 2021

2020 was supposed to be the year for 5G, with nearly every major network rolling out 5G capability in certain areas and most phone manufacturers announcing at least one 5G-compatible smartphone. However, the spread of COVID-19 put a damper on that plan. New smartphone release dates were moved, network rollouts of 5G access were delayed, and—perhaps most importantly—people’s needs for 5G pretty much deteriorated to nothing as everyone spent more time at home hooked into their WIFI. 

Despite this new reality brought along by the COVID-19 pandemic, the instigation of 5G did have an impact. In most cases, it meant a larger price tag on smartphones that were compatible with the new speeds. 5G compatibility added at least $100-$200 more to smartphone price tags. Not only that, but 5G eats up a lot more battery power than 4G networks, which is a problem when so many smartphones can’t even last an entire day with the battery they have.

Nevertheless, the added cost of 5G will eventually pay off in all the ways it will change the world in the months and years to come, especially as network access expands past cities into more rural areas. In fact, 5G was developed specifically to give greater access to information and people at higher speeds to users across the globe. 

5G will also advance the use of virtual/augmented reality, making it easier for new innovations related to those fields to become normalized in day-to-day activities. It will make adding bots to manufacturing lines easier. It will make it possible for a sports fan at a stadium to watch a replay from several different angles without leaving their seat. 5G will help gym users track their progress in real time. Clothing stores will be able to show customers what they look like in a range of clothing styles and options.

Overall, life is going to change a lot as a result of 5G. Experts say the majority of those changes won’t start to take effect until 2023, but—just as with any new technology—the costs to roll it out precede reaping its benefits.