Friday, 14 August 2020 09:14

Thinner, lighter devices driving 5G take-up in China: IDC

Thinner, lighter devices driving 5G take-up in China: IDC Pixabay

China issued its first commercial 5G licences in June last year and since then lighter and thinner devices have tended to increase take-up, the technology analyst firm IDC says.

The company said in a statement that in the case of 5G phones, apart from the SoC or 5G baseband chips, the antenna, radio frequency, heat dissipation, and larger-capacity batteries occupied more space and increase the weight of device.

"Starting from the second half of 2019, the proportion of products with a weight of more than 190g continued to increase and reached more than 60% at one time by the end of 2019," IDC noted.

The first 5G models mostly weighed more than 190g, with products more than 200g making up about 30%.

"However, since the end of 2019, 5G smartphones, produced by leading manufacturers, which are under 190g and have a more user-friendly holding experience, have gradually entered the market and saw explosive growth in the second quarter of 2020," IDC said.

"As of June, nearly 50% of 5G smartphones in the country are light and thin phones which weigh less than 190g."

The company said there would have to be a balance between product performance and weight as time progressed.

"The thinner and lighter design compresses the internal space of the mobile phone; [hence] the balance and choice between product performance and weight will be an important challenge for a while for vendors when they plan, design, and position their 5G products," the company said.

"Throughout the first half of 2020, all the products targeted young and fashionable people and sold through offline channels were less than 190g.

"But high-end flagship products with more functions and stronger performance, or the value-for-money products that mainly sold in online markets, were not very strict in terms of weight controls."

The first companies to launch phones weighing less than 190g in China were ZTE and China Mobile. OPPO launched a thing and light model at the end of 2019, with Huawei joining the field in April and grabbing more than 40% of this market since then.

IDC said the need for more battery capacity had grown with the increasing take-up. "In the one-year development of the domestic 5G market, 95% of 5G mobile phones have adopted 4000+ mAh batteries," the analyst firm pointed out.

IDC China research manager Wang Xi said in recent years, with the popularity of short video applications, the length of time that users needed to hold a mobile phone vertically with one hand had increased rapidly.

"Therefore, a thinner product with a better grip is a more obvious bonus for user experience," he observed.

"In future, 'lightness and thinness' will always be important factors that users will consider when buying a device especially when they are buying these devices offline."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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