Samsung leads 5G early birds after shipping 6.7m phones to snatch over half of the market

But that's minuscule compared to handsets flogged in Q3 2019

5G is in its infancy and yet Samsung has managed to carve out an impressive slice of the market, shipping more than 6.7 million Galaxy 5G devices during 2019.

This, according to Counterpoint Research, represents 53.9 per cent of the global 5G smartphone market, with the likes of Xiaomi and OPPO sweeping up the scraps.

No doubt this is due to Samsung's handset strategy, which has seen it release new 5G devices at a prodigious rate. So far, its lineup includes five 5G-compatible devices, including the Note S10 5G, the Note S10+ 5G, the Galaxy 10 5G, as well as the novel Galaxy Fold 5G and the bargain-basement Galaxy A90 5G.

However, 5G phones represent a very small sliver of the smartphone ecosystem. For context, Samsung sold 78.2 million phones during Q3 2019 alone.

This news comes shortly after Wave7 Research published findings suggesting that Apple and Samsung have a near-duopoly over the US handset market, with the two manufacturers accounting for 90 per cent of phones sold at carrier stores.

2020 promises to be an exciting year for the 5G ecosystem – as networks broaden coverage levels and manufacturers continue the drumbeat of new devices.

OPPO looks well poised to capture more market share this year, with the recently announced Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro coming exclusively in 5G versions.

The increasing diversity of 5G handsets will be in no small part due to the support of chipmakers, which have prioritised 5G SoCs. One bright star promises to be the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC, which will directly compete with the Qualcomm 865.

Another potential player is HiSilicon, which yesterday announced it would start shipping to companies other than Huawei. However, whether that will extend to the company's Kirin SoCs, or the Balong 5000 modem, remains to be seen. ®

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