The Low 5G Penetration Is Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Betting Big On 5G

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As India sets eyes on a mass-scale 5G adoption with kicking-off spectrum auction, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the 5G penetration is still low around the world, a reason that makes him optimistic about its future.

The installed base of smartphones with 5G capabilities has crossed 5 crore (50 million) in the country, and 5G smartphone shipment share reached 29 per cent of overall shipments in the second quarter (Q2), which was the highest ever, according to Counterpoint Research.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

In an earnings call with analysts after posting robust June quarter results, Cook said 5G has been an accelerant.

“The 5G penetration, particularly if you look at it globally, is still quite low. In some geographies, it’s obviously higher, but around the world, 5G penetration is still low. And so I think there’s reason to be optimistic,” he noted.

According to experts, the 5G spectrum auction, that has seen bids worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore in three days of auction, and commercial availability will accelerate 5G smartphone adoption among users.

India is looking to deploy 5G services in the first half of 2023 with key cities.

“Eighty per cent of the iPhone sales come from its five models in India. Apple has a strong 5G-ready portfolio and brands upgrade rate and ecosystem stickiness is best in the industry,” Counterpoint Research Director Tarun Pathak told IANS.

It means that “potentially all 4G iPhone users will jump over 5G and are likely to stay within the Apple ecosystem, a good trend for the company,” he added.

In India, Apple grew 63 per cent (on-year) in Q2 driven by a smaller base in Q2 2021 due to the Covid second wave. It remained the top-selling brand in the ultra-premium segment (Rs 45,000 and above or $650).

“Increasing ‘Make in India’ capabilities for both local consumption as well as exports, offline push through multiple promotions and consumers’ brand preference in the Rs 50,000 and above segment helped Apple retain its edge in the premium segment,” according to Counterpoint.

The opening of its own e-store, iPhone SE 2022 and offers on other models will further drive Apple’s shipments in the coming quarters, it added.