Samsung sold 6.7 million 5G smartphones worldwide in 2019 between the Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, marking better than expected sales for the company. Samsung only expected to sell 4 million 5G devices total by the end of 2019. TM Roh, head of research and development at Samsung’s mobile communications division, commented, “For Samsung, 2020 will be the year of Galaxy 5G and we are excited to bring 5G to even more device categories and introduce people to mobile experiences they never thought possible.”
Samsung now accounts for more than half the global 5G smartphone market. The South Korean consumer electronics giant, citing data from industry research firm Counterpoint, said it took up about 54 percent of global market share for 5G phones as of November 2019. It is also the world’s top smartphone maker, accounting for about a fifth of the global market.
5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks, is the next set of standards for mobile internet. The technology is said to be a big improvement on 4G, with faster data transfers and a reduction in latency. The first major deployment of 5G has been in smartphones, with countries only rolling it out gradually and in specific areas.
Samsung has first mover advantage in the space, rolling out the Galaxy S10 5G for Verizon customers in May last year. Samsung has since released four other 5G smartphones: the Note 10 5G, Note 10+ 5G, A90 5G and the Galaxy Fold 5G. Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo, have also released 5G phones, giving Samsung some international competition.
2020 is expected to be an interesting year for 5G growth across the smartphone market. Samsung is expected to release its next main flagship, the S11, later this year and will be bringing 5G to its Galaxy Tab S6 tablet in South Korea in the first quarter. Others releasing 5G phones include Huawei. LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, and ZTE. Apple is not expected to have a 5G-enabled smartphone until the end of 2020.