Samsung shipped 6.7 million 5G mobile phones in 2019 between the Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, the company announced today, selling devices that support the next-generation cellular standard better than expected.
While 6.7 million devices may not sound like a lot in the phone market’s grand scheme, it’s better than expected — at IFA 2019, Samsung had shipped just 2 million 5G devices and expected to sell only 4 million by the end of 2019. That number also represents a significant amount of the fledging 5G market, with Samsung claiming that its devices represent 53.9 percent of the global 5G marketplace.
It is expected that 2020 will be an exciting year for the mobile phone market growth of 5G. Unlike 2019’s phones, which did not mostly include 5G (or, in the case of Samsung, only supported it on unique, pricier models), Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 865 processor would make support for the next-generation network obligatory across any Android flagships that offers it — albeit through a separate antenna rather than a fully integrated solution. Increased 5G rollouts by operators mean consumers are also likely to be more interested in buying 5G apps.
This means that instead of offering a separate S11 or Note 11 5G model (or whatever Samsung calls it’s 2020 flagship successors), each S11 or Note 11 model will support 5G, which is likely to boost sales. Of course, the added ease of supporting 5G is expected to mean plenty of new competitors for Samsung in 2020, too— including rumors of a 5G iPhone— which means that the breakdown of market share may look very different next year at this time.