Apple to Capture Top Spot in 5G Smartphones in 2020: Report

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  • Currently, Apple has no 5G phones in its portfolio
  • Huawei’s potential in 5G smartphone sales is currently limited by the US technology trade ban
  • As a result of the impact of 5G, the smartphone market is expected to return to growth at 2.9 per cent in 2020

According to a recent report by Strategy Analytics, Apple is all set to capture the top spot in 5G smartphones in 2020.

“It may seem counterintuitive that Apple, which currently has no 5G phones in its portfolio will be able to pass current 5G market leaders Samsung and Huawei,” said Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics.

In the longer-term Samsung will regain the 5G crown

Hyers added, “But with three new 5G models coming next year, Apple merely needs to match its current upgrade rates for newly introduced iPhone models to take the lead next year. Despite the strong showing that is expected for Apple in 5G in 2020, in the longer-term Samsung will regain the 5G crown. As more markets cut over to 5G, Samsung will capture the majority of that share by virtue of its dominance of the overall smartphone market and a broader portfolio of 5G devices across more price-bands.

“Currently Samsung is the undisputed market leader in 5G smartphones,” said Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics. “But with the two largest 5G markets in 2020, China and the USA, dominated by Huawei and Apple respectively, these two vendors are set to lead in 5G next year.”

Huawei is dominant in China

He added, “Huawei’s potential in 5G smartphone sales is currently limited by the US technology trade ban. Huawei is dominant in China and will likely remain so. But until the ban is lifted, prospects for Huawei in 5G smartphone sales elsewhere are limited. Regardless of its long-term prospects in terms of 5G smartphone market share. 2020 will be Apple’s time to grab bragging rights in 5G.”

Players gearing up to support India’s 5G vision

Interestingly, many smartphone players are gearing up to support India’s 5G vision. Chinese technology firm OPPO and Ericsson have established a joint lab in Shenzhen, China, focusing on 5G innovation.

Xiaomi will launch 10 new smartphones enabled with 5G support next year. Realme has recently confirmed it will be the first OEM to release a smartphone with Qualcomm’s upcoming integrated 5G chipsets. Realme says the upcoming smartphone with integrated 5G Qualcomm chipset will most likely be powered by Snapdragon 700 series with Qualcomm elite gaming and AI engine.

“To ensure smartphone sales pick up again, mobile providers are starting to emphasize 5G performance features, like faster speeds, improved network availability and enhanced security. We expect to see 5G phones account for more than half of phone sales in 2023. As a result of the impact of 5G, the smartphone market is expected to return to growth at 2.9 per cent in 2020,” Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner.

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