Smartphone brands set to push 5G in 2019

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At least 20 smartphone makers are expected to launch 5G-ready devices this year, Deloitte forecasts.

Early adopters looking to get on board with 5G later this year may be spoiled for choice when it comes to handsets, as nearly two dozen hardware makers are planning to release devices with these capabilities.

This is according to a recent report by Deloitte, which estimated that 20 manufacturers are set to get involved with this technology over the next 12 months.

Samsung, Huawei and OnePlus are among those that have already confirmed plans to launch 5G-ready devices this year, so the race is on to be the first to market. Apple, however, is expected to wait until 2020 before it introduces the first 5G iPhones.

Deloitte's research also noted that users looking to take advantage of this should expect to pay a premium for access to this technology in the early days.

According to the company, estimated cost for 5G components will be around $40-50 (£31.83-£39.78) more expensive that equivalent 4G parts, and it is likely that brands will multiple this figure when passing on costs to consumers.

Globally, around one million 5G smartphones will be sold this year, accounting for less than one per cent of the 1.5 billion devices set to be sold overall around the world. The research forecast that while the pace of adoption will accelerate, it will still be several years before 5G is a mainstream technology.

Director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte Paul Lee said: "When you get a new generation coming for mobile there is a lot of noise in the first year and relatively little action. We expect there to be 25 operators launching a service, vying to be first to market to signal they are at the bleeding edge."

He added that the technology will remain "relatively niche" until at least 2025, by which time around one in seven global mobile connections will use 5G technology.

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