China sold 266 million 5G phones in 2021, slightly less than my 280 million prediction and far under China Mobile's 350 million boast. That's almost half the world total. By the end of the year, > 80% of the phones sold were 5G.
Low prices are driving the growth, as I've been reporting for two years. The Vivo iQuo is down to 1000 yuan ($157). 5 major phone companies have models under $225 although the average price is higher.
They had slightly more than 430 million 5G phones on at the end of 2023. The country was 70+% of the world market in 2020 and a little less than half in 2021. The Chinese are on track for a billion 5G users around the end of 2023.
5G is also exploding in the US for the same reason: price. Q1 2022 US will probably be 75-85% 5G. Boost has the Celero at $139. I have one; it's a fine phone. T-Mobile offers a TCL at $200. All iPhone 13's are 5G and Apple has half the US market. I suspect > 75% of US phones sold today are 5G.