For the last year, industry analysts and device makers have proclaimed that the rollout of fifth-generation data networks will prompt a wave of consumer purchases. On Thursday, Samsung released sales figures validating those assertions. In 2019, the South Korean conglomerate sold 6.7 million 5G smartphones. Notably, the corporation only expected annual shipments of 4 million units
Why Samsung’s 2019 5G Mobile Device Sales are Notable
Samsung’s better than expected 5G smartphone sales are notable because they reflect a change in consumer purchasing habits. For most of 2019, consumers flocked to budget handsets that came loaded with quality features. Indeed, Samsung’s Galaxy A line of affordable mobile devices helped it consistently rank as the world’s best-selling phone manufacturer.
Conversely, Apple’s last-generation handset, the iPhone XR, fell short of sales expectations because of its high price point. Accordingly, the expensive first wave of fifth-generation data network-enabled smartphones should’ve faced similar market resistance. Indeed, Samsung listed the 5G versions of its Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, and Galaxy Fold devices for hundreds of dollars more than their 4G counterparts.
Nevertheless, millions of smartphone owners chose to go with the more expensive upgrade. It’s also worth noting that fifth-generation network deployment occurred in the latter half of the year. In Samsung’s domestic market, the brand didn’t offer more than one 5G phone until August. Similarly, American wireless carriers Verizon and T-Mobile didn’t launch their next-generation networks until the fall.
It turns out, early adopters found the promise of 20 to 100 times data speed increases worth the extra wait and expense. As such, device makers like Samsung are expecting massive handset sales as 5G networks expand globally.
Why Samsung’s 5G Success will Continue this Year
Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah offered a fascinating insight regarding the expansion of the 5G market in 2020. Shah noted while fifth-generation handset sales made up one percent of worldwide mobile device sales in 2019, shipments will increase by 1,678 percent this year. As such, 5G mobile devices will make up 18 percent of the global smartphone market.
Counterpoint further reports Samsung is in an excellent position to dominate the fifth-generation hardware sector. Last year, the firm became the first device maker to launch multiple 5G compatible smartphones. Because of those diverse offerings and its existing brand awareness, the firm managed to capture 53.9 percent of the market.
This year, the South Korean conglomerate will release a slew of new fifth-generation handsets, including three versions of its flagship. In addition to the company’s trademark big screens, the devices will also reportedly feature 108-megapixel cameras and ultrasonic fingerprint readers. The company’s commitment to novelty will help it appeal toward consumers who held off upgrading in the last few years.
Besides, the corporation will likely become the first company to offer a budget fifth-generation mobile device. In September, the Burn-In reported Samsung supplier Qualcomm had developed an entire line of affordably priced 5G chipsets and antennas. Accordingly, the device manufacturer will be able to expand the appeal of next-generation mobiles to cost-conscious consumers.
Having already captured the imagination of early tech adopters, Samsung is primed to conquer the rest of the smartphone market.