New data from The Northridge Group, a management consulting firm, confirms that nearly all mobile phone users have heard of 5G, most can articulate some of its benefits, and most associate 5G with faster speeds. And Apple and Verizon lead the way among consumers
The data from The Northridge Group report shows that while mobile phone users are much more likely to get a new phone than to switch carriers, brand loyalty is prevalent. Apple controls the majority of the mobile phone device market, followed by Samsung.
While an impressive 49% of survey respondents reported having an Apple iPhone, among Gen Z respondents (the generation born between 1995 and 2005), the number grew to 70%, a figure that should concern other mobile phone manufacturers. The next closest device competitor, Samsung, managed to capture 29% of the total mobile phone market, according to the report.
Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile/Sprint dominate as carriers. More than one quarter of respondents (26%) named market leader Verizon as their carrier, followed closely by 23% of respondents selecting AT&T, and 21% of respondents identifying T-Mobile/Sprint as their carrier of choice.
Most mobile phone users are excited about 5G
According to The Northridge Group’s 2021 survey of Mobile Phone Use and 5G Expectations, 98% of mobile phone users have heard of 5G and 63% have at least some understanding of its benefits. The majority associate 5G with faster speeds and men are more likely than women to report having a strong understanding of 5G’s benefits.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) are excited to get onto 5G, with 23% reporting that they want to get on as fast as possible. Consistent with the belief that 5G will be faster, wanting faster speeds tops the list of reasons why users are excited about it, while the belief that it will provide more network reliability ranked second.
Generation Z expectations
One of the most telling, but not necessarily surprising, findings of The Northridge Group’s study was the total shift in how Gen Z consumes media (and not just social media). A whopping 69% of Gen Z users report watching long-form videos (TV/movies) on their phones compared to just 39% of all other users. This activity represents the biggest gap separating Gen Z from other age groups, including Millennials.
Scott Booth, director of Digital Solutions at The Northridge Group, says it seems that Gen Z respondents increasingly view their phones as replacements for TVs. What’s more, because 70% of Gen Z mobile phone users report having an iPhone, the Apple ecosystem is likely to keep them tied to iPhones as they age.
“Gen Z has higher expectations and wants more when it comes to mobile phones than any other age group,” Booth says. “They want faster speeds, more activities, more devices, more services, the latest phones, and they won’t accept any lag in anything they ask their phones to do.”
The report indicates that 39% of Gen Z respondents value fast data response time above all, and the importance of fast data response decreases significantly with age.
“It’s no surprise that Gen Z represents a prime market for 5G and its promise of speed,” says Therese Fauerbach, CEO and co-founder of The Northridge Group. “There is a real opportunity here for carriers to leverage this enthusiasm to this key market.”
You can view The Northridge Group’s complete Mobile Phone Use and 5G Expectations Report here.