A report from Strategy Analytics shows that Huawei led the 5G smartphone market last year, selling almost 7 million devices.
The company had a 5G smartphone market share of about 37% – slightly more than Samsung’s market share of 36% – which comprised 6.7 million sales.
The report added that a total of 19 million smartphones were sold in 2019.
“Demand for 5G smartphones is higher than many expected,” said Strategy Analytics director Ken Hyers.
He said that the Asian market has dominated 5G smartphone sales.
“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.”
Vivo, Xiaomi, and LG rounded out the top five – shipping 2 million, 1.2 million, and 900,000 5G smartphones respectively.
Apple’s big play
Apple is expected to enter the 5G smartphone market this year with the launch of its next-generation iPhones.
Qualcomm has all but confirmed that the 2020 iPhone range will include 5G models.
“Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their [5G] phone as fast as we can,” said Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon.
The predicted launch date for a 5G iPhone is September 2020, and reports claim that the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will both support 5G connectivity.