Samsung Unveils Cheaper 5G Phone to Lure Reluctant Buyers

Gene Naumovsky

With massive investments in 5G networks, carriers and phone producers both look to bring more customers in.

After a series of below-average sales of 5G handsets in the U.S., Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy A71 boasts an affordable price in a bid to boost sales amidst the pandemic’s economic contractions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Galaxy A71 comes with a price tag of $599.99, a cost around half of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S 5G line. As many Americans continue to endure unemployment, the notion of rejecting 5G over larger expenses when Wi-Fi is already available seems to be evident.

Freelance industry analyst Wayne Lam said, “What we’re seeing from the economic situation and pandemic is that the 5G race to the bottom is accelerating, in terms of cost.” He added, “We were expecting 5G to remain premium for a little longer, but with the market conditions and the carriers’ requirements and the consumer needs, it’s definitely coming down in cost a lot faster than with previous technology.”

At first an exclusive and luxury feature of $1000+ phones, 5G was projected to be widely adopted by 2020, according to analysts. Yet, the pandemic’s financial consequences stalled that movement as smartphone sales plummeted, seeing a 20 percent decrease last quarter in device shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. Samsung’s phone shipments have decreased by 18 percent from last year, shipping about 3.3 million 5G devices within the U.S.

Director of Strategy Analytics, Ken Hyers said that carriers are excited for boosted sales of 5G devices. He added, “Operators are investing billions in rolling out 5G networks. If they don’t get traffic on them, it’s like building a superhighway and no one is driving on it.” Now analysts estimate 5G adoption by the end of 2020, mostly due to additional companies, such as Apple, launching their own 5G-enabled phones.

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