Samsung sold more than 6.7 million 5G smartphones in 2019, exceeding its own expectations by a big margin. The South Korean electronics giant had shipped only 2 billion 5G devices by September and was hoping to just about double that number by the end of the year.
Samsung devices account for more than half of the total 5G smartphones shipped globally last year, according to a Counterpoint Research report. The company captured 53.9 percent of the global 5G smartphone market as of November 2019, it announced Thursday.
After years of work, 5G finally became a reality in 2019. South Korea and the US were the first ones to flip the switch and Samsung was ready with its Galaxy S10 5G to welcome the revolution.
Since then, the company has launched four more 5G smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 10 5G, Note 10 Plus 5G, Galaxy A90 5G, and the Galaxy Fold 5G.
Going forward, Samsung is looking to bring 5G to more people and device categories. The company will be launching the world's first 5G tablet, the Galaxy Tab S6 5G, in the first quarter of 2020.
Samsung is likely to launch several 5G-enabled mid-range smartphones as well this year. The Galaxy A90 5G is the only non-flagship Samsung smartphone to come with 5G support currently.
"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, head of Research and Development at Samsung's IT & Mobile Communications Division.
2020 will be the year of 5G
2020 will be the year of 5G not just for Samsung, but for the smartphone industry as a whole. Qualcomm's latest SoCs, the flagship Snapdragon 865 and the mid-tier Snapdragon 765 make 5G support mandatory across any Android smartphone that offers them.
Several other chipmakers, including Huawei, MediaTek, and Samsung itself, have also announced 5G-enabled chipsets. And as more carriers across the globe deploy their public 5G networks, expect 5G to be standard in several parts of the world by the end of the year.
5G smartphones contributed to a mere one percent of global smartphone sales in 2019. However, industry watchers expect 5G smartphone sales to grow 1,687 percent in 2020 to make up 18 percent of the global smartphone sales volume.
Samsung will be the frontrunner this year as well, though. The world's largest smartphone vendor is expected to launch at least three Galaxy S11 models – or whatever Samsung calls them – with 5G in February.
With Huawei struggling to sell smartphones outside China because of the US trade ban and no iPhones currently having 5G support, Samsung is all poised to gain a big headstart early in the year.