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Study: Smartphone upgrades stall before 5G release

Shoppers in Manhasset wait to purchase the newest

Shoppers in Manhasset wait to purchase the newest iPhone X and iPhone 8, on Nov. 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Smartphone upgrades have slowed in recent years, but next-gen wireless technology could bring a new wave of purchases, according to Brad Akyuz, of Port Washington’s NPD Connected Intelligence.

With fewer innovations in high-cost smartphones, upgrades have slowed among smartphone users, a survey from the Long Island company shows.

A fourth of Americans waited three years before their last upgrade, compared to only 18 percent of Americans two years before that, NPD recorded in the study released earlier this year.

Consumers have not become more likely to upgrade since then. Fewer than one-fifth of smartphone owners planned to upgrade their phones between January and June of this year. But half of millennials in the study expressed interest in upgrading to a high-speed 5G-enabled smartphone when it becomes available, and 33 percent of smartphone users overall said the same.

That could be a long-term result that would boost smartphone sales, Akyuz said in a statement, although 36 percent of consumers do not know what 5G is, the study found.

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