5G: Who in the world is willing to pay extra?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
December 04, 2020, 7:42 PM UTC

The era of 5G is well underway, with the technology live in several cities around the world. 

But we’re still in early days in the technology that promises high speeds and low latency in service of smartphone users, autonomous vehicles, and other internet-connected devices. 

Many carriers who have flipped the switch on 5G tech have done so by building atop existing 4G or LTE networks, trading hyper-speed connectivity for wide coverage areas, while infrastructure catches up. 

YouGov consumer data shows that despite infancy of the technology, there is a healthy willingness to shell out extra cash for access to it in some key consumer markets. For example, in the United States about one in five (21%) of adults say they’re willing to spend extra (that number is marginally higher among iOS users at 23% and a little lower among Android users at 19%).  

Apple is the latest hardware player to enter the 5G fray with its slate of iPhone 12 models, joining existing offerings on the market from other big players including Samsung, Google Pixel, Motorola, and OnePlus. 

The iPhone’s release is an important page in 5G’s rollout, since it’s possible many of its devotees were holding out for a 5G version. The release is of particular importance in the United States and in Great Britain, where iPhone has 33% and 37% market share respectively, according to YouGov data. 

It’s also important because iOS users are more likely to be willing to spend extra to access the next-generation wireless networking. Looking at the US, Germany, Great Britain and France together, 19% of iOS users say they’re willing, compared to 14% of Android users. 

This schism is particularly apparent in France, where only one in ten(11%) Android consumers are willing to spend extra. While iPhone commands healthy market share in the US and Great Britain, Android remains king in France — where 54% of the population has an Android-powered mobile phone — and in Germany (64%), YouGov data shows. 

Methodology: Results are based on the following sample sizes: 16,818 adults in France (3,250 iOS users and 9,840 Android users), 49,870 adults in Great Britain (17,565 iOS users and 23,364 Android users), 19,415 adults in Germany (4,078 iOS users and 12,837 Android users), and 15,649 adults in the United States (5,298 iOS users and 7,572 Android users). Interviews were conducted online between November 2019 and November 2020.

Image: Getty