Verizon will have a 5G phone available 'below $400' this year

5G phones are quickly dropping in price.

Prices for 5G phones on Verizon will hit $400 this year. 
Angela Lang/CNET

The prices for 5G phones have dropped considerably since last year's Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Plus. That device was the first phone in the US with 5G built in, but it cost $1,300 when it was released in May 2019. Recent smartphones, including this week's new line of iPhones, have dropped well below that price.

After telling CNET in January that the company planned to launch a 5G phone for under $600 later this year, Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and CEO of Verizon's Consumer Group, says his company now plans to have a 5G phone that will cost less than $400 in 2020. 

"We already have more than 25 millimeter-wave capable devices available to Verizon's customers, and we started the year at the thousand dollar price point," Dunne told CNET's The Daily Charge podcast. "We broke $800, then we broke $600, now we've broken $500. And I suspect before the year is out we'll break below $400." 

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"So actually, it's 5G for all, and we're very excited about our ability to help to make that happen by our leadership inside the ecosystem. So watch this space for continued innovation around price and accessibility."

Dunne did not give further details, such as who makes the device or when exactly it would arrive, instead teasing us to "watch this space."

All of Verizon's 2020 5G devices have supported its millimeter-wave network that is now live in parts of 55 cities as well as its new nationwide low-band 5G network that covers 200 million people. While rivals T-Mobile and AT&T have been able to launch phones at lower price points, Verizon's need for millimeter-wave has at times led to the carrier releasing custom versions of phones with the additional millimeter-wave antennas. 

These phones, which Verizon denotes with a UW suffix, sometimes carry a premium price. Google's Pixel 4A 5G, for example, costs $600 for the Verizon variant or $101 more than what Google charges for the device that AT&T and T-Mobile will sell without millimeter-wave.