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Brazil sees spike in sales of 5G-enabled smartphones

There has been a 230% demand boost for devices ahead of the rollout of the 5th-generation mobile technology, according to new research.
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Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

Brazilian retailers have seen a sharp increase in sales of 5G-enabled smartphones, according to new data from consulting firm GfK.

Between January and May, over 1.8 million smartphones compatible with the 5th-generation mobile technology were sold, which equates to 12,5% of all smartphones sold during the period. This is a 230% boost in relation to the same period in 2021.

According to the research, factors behind the increase in sales include a price drop. The report cites the average price of a 5G-ready smartphone in Brazil was 5,350 Brazilian reais ($989) in May 2021; the price tag has now dropped to 3,738 Brazilian Gerais ($691) on average.

Certification at Brazilian telecommunications agency Anatel is mandatory for products such as smartphones. It is a record that aims to ensure the item, which received a seal from the agency, meets the quality and safety standards established in the country.

In Brazil, Samsung has the widest range of models that are 5G-enabled and also certified by Anatel, with 25 types of smartphones that have been approved. The manufacturer is followed by Motorola, with 14 models, and Apple, with 9 models. Other brands, such as Xiaomi, Realme, and Lenovo are also part of the overall list, which has 67 models of smartphones compatible with the new technology.

Earlier this month, access to 5th-generation mobile networks became available for the first time in Brazil. The first city to get 5G coverage was Brazil's capital, Brasília. The implementation across other Brazilian capitals was expected to take place on July 31 but ended up being delayed by 60 days, meaning 5G should be available in these other locations on September 29. Cities that are not state capitals will see a gradual implementation until 2029.

According to a study by analyst group IDC released in May, only 22% of the Brazilian respondents said they will certainly migrate to a 5G mobile offering within the next 12 months, while 42% are expected to migrate, and the remainder are unsure of whether they will switch.

The main reasons cited by participants included being happy with devices that are not 5G-ready (39%) and having recently changed smartphones and not wanting to change them once again (34%), while 22% mentioned concerns around additional costs.

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