Survey: many iPhone owners believe their handset is 5G-capable


TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The survey carried out by Decluttr, which buys and sells electronic items such as phones, tablets, and wearables, aims to find out if Americans really know what smartphone they’re buying and its capabilities.

The majority of participants reported that they had upgraded to a new handset within the last year, the most popular reason being that their current device was broken (31 percent), followed by the need to have a faster phone (26 percent). And while 43 percent spent more than $500 on a newer smartphone, 86 percent felt it was worth the money.

It seems many people struggle to identify their own phone—at least from a picture. When shown an image of their device next to another from the same manufacturer, just 44 percent of iPhone XR and iPhone 7 owners could spot their own model. This was followed by the iPhone 8 (45.9 percent), iPhone X (51 percent), and iPhone XS (57 percent). Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ fared best, with 71.32 percent of people correctly identifying it, but even S7 (57.64 percent) and S8 (58.43 percent) owners struggled to pick out their handsets.

In fairness, recent phones, especially those that come from the same manufacture, do share many design similarities and aren’t always easy to identify from a photo. But the lack of awareness of their phones’ capabilities is more surprising: Only 40 percent of Galaxy S7, S8, and S9 owners are aware of the devices' wireless charging function, while just 14 percent of iPhone X, XS, and XR owners knew about their NFC-capabilities.

While 5G is the current industry buzzword, many consumers are still confused about the technology. Based on what network carriers they used, iPhone owners who believe their device is 5G-capable range from 24 percent (Verizon) to 47 percent (AT&T). Apple, of course, is one company that still hasn’t brought out a 5G device. Samsung owners scored higher, but the Korean firm does have the Galaxy S10 5G, so some of the replies may have been correct. Additionally, 62 percent of people said they noticed improvements to their mobile service while using a 5G network, despite the few areas with coverage and the fact many respondents' phones probably aren’t 5G-capable.

Decluttr questioned 2,000 US consumers aged 18 and over for the survey.

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Hardware Geek

TS Addict
People have trouble recognizing their glass rectangle as compared to similar glass rectangles. Not shocked. It's more surprising to me that so many people think their phones are 5G capable. Phones are becoming more and more like a desktop or laptop computer in that the majority don't know what they have, they just use it and are oblivious to the specs of their own devices. SMFH


TS Addict
There are no 5G iPhones, yet - surprisingly there are nearly no 5G networks yet so you could have asked the users if they know what wifi standard their device supports.Or ask about 6G or 2G. Nobody cares!

Cubi Dorf

TS Booster
A specific carrier is putting a 5G on the screen that make people think they using 5G. How can you blame peoples for thinking like this?


TS Guru

5G iPhones will be another reason for Apple to bump up the already prohibitively expensive iPhones.
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