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Samsung sold 6.7 million 5G phones in 2019, beating expectations

Samsung sold 6.7 million 5G phones in 2019, beating expectations


2020 will be the real test for 5G devices, though

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Samsung sold 6.7 million 5G phones in 2019 between the Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G, the company announced today, marking better than expected sales for devices supporting the next-generation mobile standard.

While 6.7 million devices may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of the phone market, it’s better than expected — at IFA 2019, Samsung had only sold 2 million 5G devices, and only expected to sell 4 million total by the end of 2019. That number also makes up a considerable amount of the fledging 5G market, with Samsung claiming its devices count for 53.9 percent of the global 5G marketplace.

This year, every Samsung flagship will be a 5G one

2020 is expected to be an interesting year for 5G growth across the smartphone market. Unlike 2019’s phones, which largely didn’t include 5G (or in the case of Samsung, only supported it on specific, pricier models), Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865 processor will make support for the next-generation network mandatory across any Android flagships that offers it — albeit through a separate antenna rather than a fully integrated solution. Increased 5G rollouts by carriers means that customers will presumably be more interested in actually buying 5G devices, too.

That means that instead of having to offer a separate 5G model of the S11 or Note 11 (or whatever Samsung calls its 2020 flagship successors), every S11 or Note 11 model will support 5G, which will likely boost sales. Of course, the added ease in supporting 5G will likely mean plenty of new competitors for Samsung in 2020 too — including rumors of a 5G iPhone — which means that the market share breakdown could look very different at this time next year.