Samsung grabs top 5G smartphone ranking, followed by LG, vivo

Samsung Galaxy Fold
Samsung has five 5G models including a Galaxy Fold 5G, helping it reach the top ranking in third quarter over other brands. (Samsung)

Samsung shipped 74% of all the global 5G smartphones in the third quarter, according to IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech.

The South Korean smartphone maker has shipped 3.2 million of the 4.3 million 5G smartphones shipped. Samsung shipped 1.5 million 5G smartphones in the second quarter when it commanded 83% of all 5G smartphone shipments. Overall 5G shipments doubled in the third quarter over the second quarter.

Samsung owes a debt to Korea’s fast-developing 5G market where wireless operators commenced 5G service in April. Samsung also has the largest portfolio of 5G smartphone models on the market with five models, said analyst Gerrit Schneemann.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G model was the leading model of all brands in the third quarter, with 1.6 million phones shipped. Samsung also shipped the Galaxy A90 and Galaxy Fold 5G.

Another South Korean smartphone brand, LG, came in second in the third quarter. Both Samsung and LG have aggressive sales promotions in South Korea.

Apple is expected to introduce 5G iPhone models in September.

RELATED: Report: Apple will quickly dominate 5G smartphone market

IHS Markit said LG’s 5G shipments reached 700,000 units for both the second and third quarters. Chinese makers Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, vivo, OPPO and ZTE together shipped about 700,000 units in the second and third quarters. Vivo alone shipped 400,000 units.

Chinese smartphone makers normally grab more than half of the global smartphone market, but together they took only 17% of 5G smartphone shipments in the third quarter. Chinese models were mostly shipped overseas.

The analyst firm predicted that Chinese 5G smartphone shipments will increase as China carriers begin to roll out 5G services. 

Average 5G smartphone prices were $994 in the third quarter, down from $1.153 in the second quarter. IHS Markit predicted some manufacturers will price their 5G smartphones at $600.

High 5G smartphone prices are far too high to generate large sales, the analysts said, noting that the average 5G phone price in the third quarter was still three times above the overall average price for smartphones of $309.

Schneemann noted that 4G smartphones won’t be able to connect to 5G networks, which gives carriers and manufacturers a chance to upgrade the mobile experience. Chipmakers like Qualcomm are also expanding their 5G connectivity options. Demand for 5G smartphones in 2020 should reach 253 million units, up from 13.5 million in 2019.


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