South Korean electronics giant, Samsung, sold the most 5G smartphones of any handset producer, shifting 6.7 million units in 2019.
At the end of November 2019, Samsung accounted for 53.9 per cent of 5G handsets in the market, according to a company statement.
Samsung launched five 5G enabled devices in 2019, namely the Galaxy S10 5G, Note10 5G, Note10+ 5G, the Galaxy A90 5G and the Galaxy Fold 5G.
“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,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Research and Development at IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.
South Korea was the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G services, when it switched on its next generation mobile networks in April 2019. This gave Samsung a huge advantage as it became a key launch partner for all three mobile network operators in its home market.
Samsung’s early leadership position has been aided by the US’ protracted trade war with China and the subsequent ban on Huawei doing business with US firms. While Huawei continues to post strong growth figures, despite being added to the US’ banned entities list, there can be little doubt that the current situation has delayed the launch of its flagship 5G handsets. 2020 is set to be a strong year for the Chinese tech giant, as the country scales up its own gargantuan 5G launch. Analysts predict that Huawei could shift a massive 100 million 5G smartphone handsets in China alone.
Samsung’s other long term adversary, Apple, has been decidedly slow on the 5G draw, as a protracted legal dispute with key chip producer Qualcomm left the US producer dragging its heels over the launch of a 5G iPhone. Apple and Qualcomm pursued each other in a series of tit-for-tatt lawsuits over alleged IP infringements. The pair have since settled their dispute, which will allow Apple to start planning the launch of a 5G version of its flagship handset.