Electro-smog, govt snooping be damned. Two thirds of folks polled worldwide would trade in their mobes for 5G kit

Once the telcos have enough masts up

Poll results published today suggest 68 per cent of smartphone owners around the world would be willing to trade in their handset for a 5G-capable model.

5G represents a seismic shift for the mobile industry, if you believe the marketing hype. Low latency and breakneck speeds, when or if available, mean it'll be possible for punters to routinely play games competitively over the air, share 8K video, look at Twitter slightly faster, and so on. There are those who fear 5G will cook our brains, or let governments spy on us more intensely, but that's just bonkers.

The report, "5G Smartphone Upgrades and the Secondary Device Deluge," details the results of a global survey of 5,000 people regarding their upgrade plans.

Is a 68 per cent replacement of handsets particularly surprising? Not really. Carriers encourage folks to exchange their handhelds for new – and in some cases, refurbished – gear, and subscribers expect the offer to be made.

Someone taking a selfie with a 5G mast

GSMA report: Sorry, handset makers, 5G is not going to save the smartphone market


Of those polled, 54 per cent said they'd trade in their device at the point-of-upgrade – which presumably means when the carrier, or electronics bazaar where they bought the kit, offers them a better model. Presumably the rest would look to other routes, including flogging their old phone on eBay or going to a specialist store (like CeX).

According to the survey, which was commissioned by data erasure firm Blancco Technology Group, 51 per cent of all respondents said getting a discount on their next device would be their primary motivator behind trading their handsets in.

On average, they receive 35 per cent of the original purchase price for their old blower – although this is dependent upon the competitiveness of the pre-owned handset ecosystem. Obviously, the condition and valuation of the phone plays a huge role, too, as well as whether the device is tied to a particular network.

But while there's an apparent enthusiasm for upgrades, the survey highlighted that this translates into deferred purchases. Globally, 51 per cent of folks are waiting until 5G device and connectivity improves before trading up, while that figure leaps to 70 per cent in India and the Philippines. ®

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