Will 5G smartphone shipments reach 5 mn units in 2019?

Global 5G smartphone shipments will reach 5 million units in 2019, research from Strategy Analytics shows.
SK Telecom Announces the Worlds First 5G Smartphone Subscribers
5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes in the initial phase of the 5G adoption.

Samsung website indicates that the Galaxy S10 is available for £799 for the 128GB model and 512GB storage model is priced at £999. The Galaxy S10+ is priced at £899 for 128GB model, £1,099 for the 512GB model and £1,399 for the 1TB variant.

5G smartphone shipments will reach 1 billion worldwide per year by 2025, the report said. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business.

Samsung, LG, OPPO and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

As per the latest information, 211 mobile operators are making investment in 5G networks in 87 countries. Huawei Technologies, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Samsung will be gaining from the investment in 5G networks.

According to TrendForce’s latest report, the production volume of 5G smartphones would be 5 million units this year, achieving a penetration rate of 0.4 percent, since the construction of 5G network infrastructure will not be completed before 2022.

Operators in South Korea and the US have launched commercial 5G service. Mobile operators in Korea launched 5G services with Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G smartphone. They are giving instalments to boost the sale of 5G smartphones.

US-based Verizon offered Motorola’s Z3 and the mot 5G mod that provides 5G access to an LTE phone.

There will be dozens of 5G smartphones available by the end of 2019. This year will be all about learning for consumers about what 5G means, while for operators and device makers, it will be all about learning about what consumers want from 5G, Strategy Analytics said.

Strategy Analytics said that less than 1 percent of all smartphones sold in 2019 will be 5G enabled. 1 in 5 smartphones will be 5G by 2023.

A Gartner report says the total spending on devices – PCs, laptops, smartphones, among others – will dip 1.9 percent to $655 billion in 2019.

Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone will be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race.