Samsung has taken the lead in the 5G smartphone market already, accounting for three-quarters of worldwide shipments in the third quarter, according to IHS Markit. The company shipped an estimated 3.2 million 5G smartphones in the period, equal to 74 percent of the total 4.3 million units shipped worldwide.
Samsung’s 5G smartphone shipments in the third quarter more than doubled compared to 1.5 million units in the second quarter, IHS said. In Q2, it had an even higher market share, of 82 percent.
Samsung’s lead is due to South Korea’s early launch of 5G networks, in April. This also helped LG take second place in the 5G smartphone market in Q3. Both Samsung and LG have offered aggressive promotions in South Korea, allowing them to quickly claim the top market-share positions, IHS said.
Samsung also has the most 5G models in the market, at five. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G was the leading 5G model in the third quarter, shipping 1.6 million units, according to IHS.
The development of the South Korean market also contributed to the overall growth in 5G shipments, which more than doubled between the second and third quarters. After Samsung and LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, Vivo, Oppo and ZTE represented 17 percent of total 5G shipments, with 700,000 units in the second and third quarters.
The research shows the average price of a 5G smartphone remained high in Q3, at USD 994 versus USD 1,153 in Q2. IHS said the price range was widening, with some as little as US$ 600, but on average 5G devices still cost more than three times than the average smartphone price of US$ 309.
In total, IHS expects 13.5 million 5G smartphones to be shipped in 2019. Volumes are expected to ramp up from 2020 due to the launch of 5G services in China.