According to the latest research from our Emerging Device Technologies (EDT)service, global 5G smartphone shipments hit 19 million units in 2019.
Demand for 5G smartphones is higher than many expected. Fierce vendor competition in China and heavy carrier subsidies across South Korea have been the main drivers of 5G demand. Other regions, like the US and Europe, are lagging behind Asia, but we expect them to close the gap later this year.
Exhibit 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments & Marketshare by Vendor in 2019
Source: Strategy Analytics
HUAWEI is number one and shipped 6.9 million 5G smartphones worldwide in 2019, capturing an impressive 37 percent marketshare. Almost all Huawei’s 5G smartphones were shipped in China, where US sanctions have made relatively less impact. Popular 5G models for Huawei include the Mate 20 X 5G and Mate 30 Pro 5G.
SAMSUNG is number two and shipped 6.7 million 5G smartphones worldwide during 2019, capturing a healthy 36 percent marketshare. Samsung’s 5G smartphone shipments are international and span a wide spread of countries, from South Korea to the UK to the United States. Popular 5G models for Samsung include the Note 10 5G and S10 5G.
VIVO is number three and shipped 2.0 million 5G smartphones worldwide in 2019, capturing a solid 11 percent marketshare. Vivo’s 5G smartphone portfolio is heavily focused on China and that remains its primary market for now.
XIAOMI is number four and shipped 1.2 million 5G smartphones worldwide in 2019, capturing 6 percent marketshare. Xiaomi is quietly making headway in Western Europe, with popular models such as the Mi Mix 3 5G, and teaming up with carriers from Switzerland, UK and elsewhere.
LG is number five and shipped 0.9 million 5G smartphones worldwide in 2019, capturing 5 percent marketshare. LG is focusing its efforts on North America and South Korea, but has limited presence in the rest of the world for now.
Upcoming 5G models from APPLE iPhone and other big brands mean 5G will be the hottest part of the worldwide smartphone market this year. However, the recent coronavirus scare is currently restricting trade in some parts of China and this may well cause a slowdown in 5G supply or demand across Asia or worldwide during the first half of 2020. Industry players should be prepared for bumpy 5G sales in some markets.