5G Smartphones Forecast: Less Than 1% This Year, But 1 Billion Units in 2025

Global 5G smartphone shipments will reach 5 million units this year, representing less than 1% of smartphone shipments, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. That will change over the next few years, however, as researchers’ 5G smartphone forecast calls for annual sales of one billion devices by 2025.

For now, high 5G smartphone prices are keeping a lid on demand, according to Strategy Analytics. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes, primarily from Samsung, LG and Huawei. Apple’s jump into the fray likely won’t happen until 2020, Strategy Analytics predict.

5G Smartphone Forecast

“Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States,” said Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, Strategy Analytics senior analyst, in a prepared statement. “We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

“Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year,” said Ken Hyers, Strategy Analytics director, in a prepared statement. “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics executive director, added in a prepared statement: “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”


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