back to article As sales crash, Gartner wonders who can rescue the smartphone market ... Aha, it is I! 5G Man!

If you give any credence to the forecasts Gartner publishes on a quarterly basis and have more than a passing interest in computer sales, the latest update might have made you spit out your vodka cornflakes this morning. The headline is that shipments of PCs, laptops and smartphones will shrink 3.7 per cent in 2019 to 2.139 …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Perhaps

    "The lack of compelling new services or functions means people are keeping their phones beyond the two-year average upgrade cycle."

    That's probably true in general.

    But here's why I will not be buying any more smartphones: they've simply become too dangerous and too difficult to adequately secure. Adding "compelling new services or functions" would not make a phone more attractive to me (unless the "new services" is actual, honest-to-god, security). In fact, adding new services would increase my reluctance, as "new services" inevitably bring more spying along with them.

    5G itself has no real effect on my willingness to buy, except that it brings more security concerns along with it.

    "He said, as analysts have for generations, that the industry really needs to shift to a service model"

    I avoid service models like the plague that they are. Such things are showstoppers for me.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Perhaps

      Hear, hear. Anything that's a service model is a risk -- whether it's a risk of data theft, sudden price hikes (ransom), or provider going under. Risks are something to be managed and mitigated, not embraced.

      Since BEREC etc. seem to be onboard with the USA idea of forcing binary-only radio firmware, I don't trust any mobile phone as far as I can toss it. Especially not when there are articles here on El Reg espousing the latest holes found in that firmware, with bugging and tracking being the most common payloads.

      I like the concept of a PDA with a radio that I can run Linux on and make sure the firmware isn't bugging me. I don't like the current mobile phone concept, which seems to be mostly a mobile voice bug with Internet spying built in, and won't buy one of these Stasi-approved devices as a result.

      And these idiots wonder why the market is soft.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps

        "I like the concept of a PDA with a radio that I can run Linux on and make sure the firmware isn't bugging me"

        I breadboarded up my own smartphone that runs plain old Linux, but in the course of doing so I realized that I don't even want that. What I'm doing now is building that smartphone without the cellphone module, to use as a pocket computer, and carrying it along with a old-style feature phone that I can tether the pocket computer to when I need internet connectivity on the go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Perhaps

          Cool project but why not use an existing 'smart' phone and take the SIM out, and use WiFi hotspot with laptop for connectivity. Root the thing and put an 'open' firmware on it. I know that isn't as nice as making your own pocket computer but for most people it would be easy to do and you get the benefit of the hardware integration. Totally get that there would be security considerations when compared to building it from the ground up yourself.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Perhaps

            "se WiFi hotspot with laptop for connectivity"

            I don't want to have to start carrying a laptop around.

            "Root the thing and put an 'open' firmware on it."

            That's what I've been doing for years, but what I actually want is to leave the Android ecosystem entirely. The security problems with the OS is half of the issue, the other half is the security problems with the apps.

            I'm not saying that my approach is a solution for the masses. It's just for me.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps

        I'm sure that neither of you nor myself is typical of the great mobile-buying public so Gartnet might actually be right. Depressing, isn't it?

        1. whitepines Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps

          What happens when the money runs out though? Is mobile telephone service now going to be considered a basic right?

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: Perhaps

            Since our government increasingly expects people to access its services via the Internet, that could well happen.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Perhaps

              You say that as though the previous systems were more reliable.

              And yes, I'm aware how bad many of the current systems are but at least I see them improve year-by-year.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps

          I have no doubt that you're right. That's why I said "That's probably true in general."

    2. Daza876
      Megaphone

      Re: Perhaps

      Correct 100% about lack of new 'exciting' functions to compel the end user to ditch their 'old' phone and buy a new old! I'm waiting for a smartphone manufacture to build a smartphone with a battery life that will last a few weeks! They'll get the market share then for sure lol

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps

        "lack of new 'exciting' functions "

        I'm also wondering at how and why 5G implementation will suddenly get phones flying off the shelves. 4G can already stream full HD movies... is there a consumer demand for downloading multi-GB files in under a minute?

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps

          As soon as 5G has really taken off, there will be demand for downloading mutil GB files because bloat syndrome has always kept up with Moores Law and processor development.

          Typical updates are often larger than whole application s or OSs used to be.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Perhaps

            I don't think that 5G will bring significant speed increases to most smartphone users.

      2. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Perhaps

        Yes, because I really enjoyed carrying around that Nokia brick in the early 1990s.

        If you want the energy density of batteries to increase a lot, don't hold your breath. Buy a perpetual calendar. I could probably eke out my present phone (small) with a 20AH power brick. I have one. It weighs around 400g. I do not want a 550g phone again.

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps

      I'm not in a hurry to buy another smartphone for two reasons. One is that wireless service hasn't really caught up to 4G where I live. The other is that current smartphone software is too intrusive, advertisers spend too much of my time, effort and battery capacity figuring out where I am and what I'm doing (and usually getting it wrong) so they can rent out blocks of my phone's screen to advertisers.

      The 'user experience' that they're always 'enhancing' reminds me of those pull out magazine format advertising supplements in print media, the ones that have a couple of generic articles threaded around adverts for things I don't want and don't need.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Perhaps

        What blocks of your phone's screen are you renting to advertisers?

        My rule is if it is advert funded it is using your battery and bandwidth, better to pay upfront.

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    I buy things if I need what they do

    I do not buy things so that the vendors can maintain sales levels.

    My 'phone is some 5 years old. It does what I want, the battery frequently lasts all week.

    My main PC at home is 8 years old. I over specced it when I bought it so it still has plenty of grunt. I run Linux so no probs with continued OS support.

    Various laptops: still work, I buy them cheap as I need to do little with them except be available when I am away from home & lend to people; they just need to be able to run a browser, Emacs & occasional word processor.

    Summary: if it ain't bust, don't buy a new one.

  3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Fantasy Land

    Computing devices are a mature market for all devices. Unless a device is near death there is often no compelling reason to replace it. The replace cycle will stretch out and eventually flatten out. Any growth in the market will be because of overall population growth not new 'features'. 5G will take time to roll out and current phones often work well enough there is no pressing need to get a 5G phone for most.

    My prediction is a continues slide in units sold for a few more years until the sales matches the replacement rate. Then any growth will be minimal with quarterly peaks and troughs that may be somewhat seasonal.

    1. Julz Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: Fantasy Land

      Where you sacked as an annalist from Gartner as that sounds far too sensible.

      1. 's water music Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Annalysis

        Predictions are so much more reliable when made about the past

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What exactly are people going to use 5g for? You can download video on wifi before you go where you're going. Browsing internet/shopping and all the other stuff works with no problem (signal and location permitting). AR? VR? What for? Those are solutions looking for problems which we haven't found yet, sure I can watch some sports event in VR but a screen is just fine.

    Where is this 5g network equipment going to come from considering the current China spats over trade and spying? Albeit limited to a few countries.

    The service model is unsustainable, few people are going to swap out a device for a monthly payment that goes on forever for a device you don't actually own. What happens if you lose your job? You lose your devices. People aren't that stupid.

    Finally the PC market needs to take a good look at itself as there is a lot of moment to the cloud meaning demand will shift to thin clients.

    Infinite growth is an unsustainable business model. That's what I think anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > few people are going to swap out a device for a monthly payment that goes on forever for a device you don't actually own.

      I wish that were true, but Office 365 versus Office, Spotify vs CDs and Netflix vs DVDs point the opposite way. If it's simple and convenient, people will pay.

      I bought Office 2011 way back, and have saved a metric shedload of money by not subscribing. It's past EOL now, so I'll probably upgrade to 2019, even though Microsoft says I shouldn't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >I wish that were true, but Office 365 versus Office, Spotify vs CDs and Netflix vs DVDs point the opposite way. If it's simple and convenient, people will pay.

        LibreOffice vs MSOffice, MP3/FLAC vs Spotify, MKV vs Netflix, Gimp vs Photoshop etc.....

        If I can get it for free, then I won't pay.

        1. Richard Jones 1
          FAIL

          Subscriptions Not Really For Me

          One of my adult children has started a course, so I decided that it was time to think about upgrading from a mixture of old editions of Office ranging from 2003 through to the modern version we own 2010 to Office 365 for less than £60 for three users, with 3 users still available for other family members. So far it is on 5 machines, all PCs of various ages but none less than 8 years old. I understand that I can buy another year or two at the same price and stack it on. Should our needs reduce than I can and will drop out of the rental market and fall back on whatever is one offer at the time. I receive suggestions that I could even put 365 on mobiles, though that does sound like a nightmare suggestion to me. Having some (any?) reliable mobile signal would be lovely. Currently, I suspect there is better reception in the Gobi Desert than within 30 miles of central London. The last time I watched any 'subscription TV' was after a couple of operations when I was confined to the house, just searching the catalogue nearly drove me nuts. I hated it and never went back, the 'subscription' is an unpaid for add-on, I would never wish to subscribe for real money. Murdock Vision killed that idea for once and for all time.

          Using the web on a mobile is not for me, if Ido get a signal, within seconds I find out just how much crap advertisers have that no one would ever want - otherwise why would they push the crap so hard?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes but those are things you don't actually need if you don't have a monthly income. Having a phone for example is essential for job searching.

    2. lex_fury

      "The service model is unsustainable, few people are going to swap out a device for a monthly payment that goes on forever for a device you don't actually own. What happens if you lose your job? You lose your devices. People aren't that stupid."

      I don't know, the car lease market has been extremely successful, and we're talking £thousands a year there.

      I also think that's madness, barring a few unusual use cases.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The car lease market removes all the worry about owning a car, unexpected bills and sometimes include insurance, if you lose your job you can get public transport.

        1. Twanky Bronze badge

          The car lease market...

          '...removes all the worry about owning a car'

          What about the worry of *not* owning the car? For example losing the freedom to chose not to replace it at the planned/expected intervals because of an unplanned large cash demand - maybe one of your kids getting married?

          Just as the service model is good for suppliers as it insulates them from unexpected events the model also reduces consumers' ability to react to events.

          1. Grooke

            Re: The car lease market...

            If one of my kids' wedding is ever an "unplanned large cash demand" that would require the sale of my car, they can pay for it themselves.

            There's living above your means, and then there's living above you and your parents' means.

        2. The Pi Man

          “Removes all the worry”... Again, like everything else, by paying a premium for it. You don’t think car manufacturers are pushing PCP plans for the customers benefit?

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Lease <> PCP

            PCP - you pay for the interest and maybe a bit of the principal, end up still owing half the cost of the car.

            Lease - you pay a monthly fee, and sometimes a deposit of three months, and owe nothing and own nothing, usually with a restriction on number of miles.

            "Car-as-a-service" would be more akin to a short term hire car, where you pay from day-to-day and end up getting blamed for a dent you swear blind you didn't cause.

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Lease <> PCP

              ""Car-as-a-service" would be more akin to a short term hire car"

              Yes. It's just car rental by another name.

    3. Kernel Silver badge

      "What exactly are people going to use 5g for? "

      Well, according to yetserday's new aricle, here in NZ the first deployment is being used to provide high speed fixed internet access for businesses in an area where there isn't fibre - not everybody has the same use case as you.

      "Where is this 5g network equipment going to come from considering the current China spats over trade and spying?"

      Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Fixed wireless is the "killer app" for 5G. There isn't much point to it on phones, where LTE is already more than fast enough. There isn't any use case for going faster than what LTE is capable of on a phone. It lowers latency, which may matter for gamers but how many people are doing latency sensitive gaming via cellular instead of wifi?

        I just bought a new iPhone. I could have waited until next year and got one that included 5G but that didn't even factor into my purchase decision. I'll keep this one for 2-3 years, and eventually will have 5G in that next one - but only in the sense that I have 802.11ax/wifi6 on the phone I just bought. It is there, but wasn't a factor in my purchase and it'll probably be a good long while before I connect to any 802.11ax networks and when I do I won't notice the difference.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "Fixed wireless is the "killer app" for 5G"

          I suppose, in a roundabout way. Existing, mature technologies exist to do high-speed fixed wireless (without requiring massive subsidies to the telecoms), so it's not really that part.

          What 5G really brings is the ability to service more endpoints. In very congested areas, cell providers have been hitting this limit for a long time now.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Well 5G isn't really bringing that - there's no particular reason why you couldn't use higher frequencies with LTE to greatly expand the number of users per sq km. 5G significantly lowers latency (down to about 1 ms in ideal circumstances) which a big improvement over LTE. LTE isn't terrible latency wise, but it was behind fiber, DOCSIS and DSL in that department while 5G is ahead of all but fiber (and is basically tied with it)

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "the first deployment is being used to provide high speed fixed internet access for businesses in an area where there isn't fibre"

        The constraining factors for that are going to be getting a signal, spectrum saturation and the extension of fibre coverage. Presumably 5G itself will slow down fibre deployment and everyone gets caught out when the saturation hits the the fibre's needed Right Now.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Do you need 5G for most businesses?

        My local village went FTTC a couple of years ago, There are a dozen or so small businesses there and none have upgraded to the higher speed. The local primary school had 20Mb fibre before then and haven't found a need to change. The local secondary school doesnt need the 76M FTTC feed according to the techie who runs the IT there.

        I used to work at a place with 30,000 customers and had a 2M connection and almost all our business ran on that - you can do business lunches on 5G as far as I know.

        I've just gone 4G and I would bet that is more than enough for most small business that dont allow their employees to watch (or make) 4k all day.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Infinite growth is an unsustainable business model."

      Sales tend to follow a sigmoidal graph. And that's a graph of total sales. Eventually everyone who wants a gizmo has one. Sales per quarter or whatever are the first differential of that curve with a bit added on for replacements. But every time marketing people think they're looking at an exponential curve. Every time.

    5. LDS Silver badge

      "demand will shift to thin clients."

      The thin clients are exactly the smartphones. People buying PCs do because they need the local processing power/storage and adequate I/O peripherals.

    6. baud Bronze badge

      I've got a colleague who's used a subscription model for his mobile, his idea was that this way he would get a recent-ish device that will get changed every two or three year, for less than the cost of new mobile every two or three years. Perhaps the math work out for him, but I still prefer to own my devices, especially those where's a lot of my personal life on.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Subscription Model

      and People aren't that stupid

      I'm sorry to have to tell you but they are that stupid. One of my daughters friends was up to her neck in debt. Said daughter (who teaches Maths) looked at her friends finances.

      Her monthly fixed outgoings were £24.00 less than her income for the month. Seventeen subscriptions to all sorts of things took as much as her mortgage.

      Over the course of one evening they cancelled almost all of them. The friend is still in debt but there is light at the end of the tunnel for her. By next March she will be solvent again.

      Those "Only £9.99 a month" adverts that seem to be everywhere these days will drive a lot of people into the same situation as my daughters friend.

      Yes, people are stupid and advertisers know it and target the most vunerable.

      do I need to say anything other than

      PAYDAY LOANS

      and over 1000% interest rates

      1. baud Bronze badge

        Re: re: Subscription Model

        Especially those "Only £9.99 a month" last only for 6 or 12 months, after that it's up to 20 or 30.

    8. jmch Silver badge

      "You can download video on wifi before you go where you're going..."

      I would argue that the advantage of having fast wireless internet is that you do not need to download anything over WiFi at all. Of course there is a volume/cost factor - but more and more mobile plans now include very high or unlimited data, to an extent that WiFi isn't needed any more even for high-volume requirements. So it's all about speed.

      And for speed, with existing 4G you have theoretical 300Mbps peak, and good 4G signal is consistently 60Mbps. UHD video stream is taking about 25Mbps. On a screen the size of a phone, you can barely tell the difference between HD and UHD, and for tablet screen size, you can't get resolution higher than UHD anyway.

      I'm struggling to come up with any requirements in the next 3-5 years that NEED 2Gbs+ that won't work appreciably as well with 4G speeds. Of course, there's that Bill Gates quote about memory that comes to mind, famous last words and all that...

      1. Joe Montana

        Over subscribed

        That theoretical peak of 300mbps is based on there being no other users around.. The reason you get 60 instead of 300 is because there *are* other users around, and the number of users is not likely to decrease. The more users who are using wireless technology, the slower it gets for everyone. You should use wired wherever you can, to conserve bandwidth for devices where wired isn't an option.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    suffering because of Brexit

    Yes it makes sense that people would delay buying a PC because of Brexit. Only a clever Gartner analyst can understand why, and it's too complicated to explain here.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: suffering because of Brexit

      I don't understand. Wouldn't Brexit encourage people to buy sooner rather than later? After all, it's hard to say what Brexit will actually do...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: suffering because of Brexit

        Maybe people will be thinking of not spending on non-essentials now to have more money when the prices of essentials go up.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: suffering because of Brexit

          Ah, that makes sense. Thank you!

    2. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: suffering because of Brexit

      I really don’t get this.

      Brexit is a problem for those who make and sell things to EU countries as the goods will be taxed on entry to the EU.

      It’s not a problem for those who buy things, any problems on supply or tariffs will be self inflicted by our own dear civil servants (Google’s ever helpful spell checker suggested civil SERPENTS).

      1. ScottK

        Re: suffering because of Brexit

        As the pound crashed after the referendum, costs of imports increased. Come Brexit day, if (when) it ever happens, the pound is likely to crash some more. On top of the cost of the goods, cost of transport will also increase as fuel is priced in USD. Even goods manufactured in the UK will still need transporting and will still rely on a foreign supply chain in many cases. About the only thing to really benefit is the domestic tourism industry as people holiday at home and overseas visitors benefit from the cheap currency.

        The higher costs leads to higher inflation figures. The usual fix to try counter inflation is to raise interest rates, but the BoE lowered them after the referendum to try stimulate the economy (which lowers the value of the currency even more) and they have been stuck at record low levels ever since. They don't really have many other levers to use.

        If there is no deal, then under WTO rules UK has to apply the same tariffs globally. If they don't tariff imported goods while tariffs are applied on exports, then overseas imports will flood in, leading to manufacturers that cannot sell overseas going to the wall. In addition, politicians are likely to find themselves being lynched by UK farmers (so maybe not all bad...).

        All in all, a shit pile of the highest order with the poorest people in the country the worst affected.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: suffering because of Brexit

          Great explanation. To bad that Boris and his rich Etonian chums can't get that into their heads that ordinary people (aka those who were lied to in 2016) will suffer the most from a No Deal exit.

          He'll be gone by Christmas and Labor will be in power making things worse. There really isn't the money for even 10% of their grandiose plans.

          We are truly doomed and we don't need not expensive shite from Gartner to tell us that.

          1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

            Re: suffering because of Brexit

            "To bad that Boris and his rich Etonian chums can't get that into their heads that ordinary people [...] will suffer the most from a No Deal

            You really think they don't realize that?

  6. jsmith1030

    Maybe people don't like being screwed?

    The first smartphones were a huge improvement in my life. The smartphones coming out now are still an improvement, but they improve the lives of the manufacturer/its shareholders. They are either not an improvement for me at all or are an actual detriment (no 3.5 MM, no Micro SD, no removable battery, bad security, bad privacy). I fail to see why I should pay so that the manufacturer can improve their situation at my expense. I have a particular pot of cash I use for charities, the pot I use for buying phones is for commercial transactions only and I expect to get my money's worth. The same applies to PCs. Maybe the vendors can go back to improving my life rather than trying to improve theirs at my expense? Given the source, though, I see, as expected, that the advice is to double-down on the service model, that is, to screw the consumer even harder.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Maybe people don't like being screwed?

      The way I look at it, I'm using my phone (texting/apps) several hours a day. I've been replacing an average of every two years (once I went three, in the early days it was yearly due to AT&T's largess) After trade in I'm paying under a dollar a day for something I use a couple hours a day.

      Most people spend a hell of lot more than that on a car and (hopefully, if they don't have a very long commute) spend a lot less time than that in it. Given a choice, I'd rather replace my phone more often and my car less often. I'd come out ahead that way and don't care if my car doesn't have LED running lights, lane keeping and all the other new stuff that's appeared this decade. I don't drive enough to make it work spending money on - I'll replace my car when it starts having problems but as long as it looks almost as new as when I bought it and it is 100% reliable why would I replace it?

      The new phone is faster, has a larger display, better camera and so forth and while the old was certainly more than "good enough" improving the experience for something I use that much is worth it to me when you're talking less than a penny a minute. YMMV.

      I use the same logic for upgrading the laptop I use for work (I'm a consultant so I supply my own) regularly because of the amount of time I use it each day, or for replacing the mattress in my bed. Spend money on the things you interact with a lot, and save money by stretching out the life of things you have little interaction with.

    2. Twanky Bronze badge

      Re: Maybe people don't like being screwed?

      I'd like to get to know them first - maybe a nice dinner, flowers, a cuddle...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still using a 5 year old Lumia that does everything I need it to and the battery still lasts days between a charge. Probably helps that I turn wifi and mobile data off when not in use and don't use Bluetooth.

  8. JJKing Silver badge
    Happy

    Replacement phone considerations.

    In the last 12 months I replace my and SWMBO's phones with new Nokias. SWMBOs phone was 5 years old and mine was 9 (old Samsung S2 that had a replaceable battery). 5G was NOT a considering factor in my phone choice but Mode C connectors were and so was MicroSD storage and at least ac Wi-Fi. If I could have gotten one with all that and a removable battery then that would have been my choice unless it was a Samsung like phone filled with bloatware. I do hate all that crap that is added to a device that I own that is near impossible to uninstall.

    I really do not know why so many seem to think that 5G is going to be the panacea for all their communication issues. According to the 5G worshippers, it is going to negate the need to ever require FTTP (aka FTTH). WTF???

    I was disappointed that SWMBOs phone died after 10 months and they no longer had the same model available but was not too perturbed coz 1, it wasn't my phone and 2, got a better one as a replacement.

  9. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    5G, who cares?

    What's the point? Most of the time we can't even get the speeds that 4G promises. The problems are coverage and bandwidth. If you are in a major city then chances are you are sorted and can get that 15-20Mb/s (even though 4G should be delivering 150Mb/s).

    If you are not in a city then you will be getting 10-20Mb/s when you do manage to get a 4G signal, but chances are you are on 3G (7Mb/s) and in some areas even on Edge (135kb/s). The coverage sucks, we are not getting anywhere the speeds promised, and if lots of people are using their phone in a given area, the local Cell structure can't cope anyways. If the networks started delivering on their promises, maybe people would be more enthusiastic about the latest whizz-bang, but having been lied to so many times, I personally really don't give a flying **** any more. Stop over-promising and under-delivering!!!

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Joe Harrison

    5G is not for you

    5G is not for people. People are already well enough served with 4G (if you have coverage) as many have already said.

    5G is for things. Self-driving cars for example cannot manage without a constant mothership connection. Cleaning robots. Auto-delivery drones. And other things we won't think of until the infrastructure being in place makes someone go "Hey you know what we could do..."

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: 5G is not for you

      "Self-driving cars for example cannot manage without a constant mothership connection."

      They certainly could. That companies are deciding to tie those cars to the net has more to do with surveillance than technical need.

      "Cleaning robots. Auto-delivery drones."

      Neither of which need anything like 5G. My cleaning robot doesn't require any network connection at all (and, honestly, I have a hard time understanding what benefit it would bring).

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: 5G is not for you

        My cleaning robot doesn't require any network connection at all (and, honestly, I have a hard time understanding what benefit it would bring).

        The benefit for the state is that they get to know if you have any subversive material, what kind of p0rn you're into (for future criminal charges should you have a political opinion other than that of the state leadership) and so they can know just how much unused space you have (unpatriotic unless you downsize for the greater good). Oh and just how much food you have for when the rationing hits post-Brexit -- hoarders will be sent for reeducation.

        What's that you say? Dystopian nonsense? Cyberpunk drivel? Perhaps those authors were more prescient than commonly thought.

  12. Mark192

    It's the camera and screen size

    The killer 5G feature will be turning lights on and off from your phone. Seriously. Cheap smart light bulbs are the only thing I want a smart home for.

    Obviously, I'm assuming that everyone is like me, am ignorant of other use cases and think if I don't need it no one else does either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the camera and screen size

      >The killer 5G feature will be turning lights on and off from your phone. Seriously. Cheap smart light bulbs are the only thing I want a smart home for.

      Just turn the lights off when you leave and then turn them on again when you arrive home, works for me and generation before, no need to use problematic technology that is looking for a solution.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: It's the camera and screen size

      This is a serious question, not snark: why are smart light bulbs attractive to you? What is the benefit you'd get from them?

      1. 's water music Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: It's the camera and screen size

        This is also a serious question. When did you last calibrate your irony meter? Perhaps the PP is a moth. It's hard to tell on teh internet

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: It's the camera and screen size

          My irony meter appears to be busted. I'll send it in for servicing immediately!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5G struggles to pass through a mosquito's wings and I've no desire to stand outside in the rain holding my phone aloft just to watch 4K porn vids streamed to my mobile.

    No sale.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dont sleepwalk into a nightmare

    Want to keep tabs on everyone? Would cost a fortune to kit the world population out with the required tech. Better to get the deluded fools to pay for it themselves. Take a look at china where you can barely twitch a finger without it being recorded somewhere. Then see the desperate attempts to replicate it all here by idiot politicians and technologists pushing 5G relentlessly with all this claptrap about intelligent fridges and lightbulbs.

    People need to stop buying and upgrading and starve these people of that which they crave. We are not a nation of beaten down slaves like where all this rubbish originates.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Service model" == "Do not want"

    My employer is in the process of trying out Office 365. Members of the test group can now get their work email on their own smartphones or their mum's laptop. This is supposed to be a secure environment. We have specifically not had BYOD here. You cannot connect your own computer or phone up to the network or WiFi. Now we loosen security and give it to Microsoft and hope they won't mess up again...

  16. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    The (5) G-Man

    "Gordon... the possibilities are.... limitlessss"

  17. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    5G is a long way out

    It's probably a minimum of 5 years before 5G-standalone replaces 4G to any significant degree. Until then it's just a piggyback download booster for certain urban areas.

    Lack of feature diversity is killing phone upgrades. Nearly all phones with a global radio have 4+ cameras, a sealed case with only a single USB-C port, and a big price tag. All of the features and variety taken for granted a few years ago are only available on some regional radio phones for India and China.

    Some Asia-region phones work in the US on LTE Band 4 but it's a crowded band. Data will get throttled frequently.

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