Global smartphone shipments will reach a modest five million units in 2019, according to Strategy Analytics, with early 5G smartphone models expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.
"Less [sic] than one per cent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year," says Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, who adds that global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to "expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks."
Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, adds: "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. We predict 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 looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race, and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind."
\Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, believes that the short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. He says the company forecasts that one-billion 5G smartphones will ship worldwide per year by 2025. "The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile," he says, "opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services."
Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion.
Check out Frank Lenk's review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone, which will come in a 5G version, and is already available in 5G in Korea.