The Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G was the bestselling model globally in September 2020, capturing 5% share among all 5G models, according to Counterpoint Research’s Global 5G Tracker. The Note 20 Ultra beat Huawei P40 Pro 5G which was the bestselling 5G model in August.
Taking one look at this mix can tell us a lot about the status of 5G in the world. Seven out of the top 10 models are from Chinese OEMs – no surprise, considering over 60% of the global 5G market is situated in China. Now that we are seeing 5G growing outside China, a varied group of smartphone makers has emerged to make the top 10. Another exciting trend is the presence of vivo and OPPO’s budget segment Y and A series phones in the top-seller list. This indicates that 5G, which was once “flagship only”, is now trickling down to the budget segment phones, thanks to the availability of newer, cheaper chipsets from Qualcomm and Mediatek.
Samsung, which has three devices in the top 10 list, has recently stepped up introduction of 5G devices, including bringing 5G models to its A-series. Samsung is also utilising its global reach to improve its presence in the 5G market. The Samsung Note 20 Ultra is a great example of this. It has done well in its first month of launch, taking the top spot in the 5G list.
Huawei, the world’s third biggest smartphone maker, has three devices in the top 10 list. Huawei’s good performance in its home market China, which reached 50% 5G penetration in Q3 2020, gives it a significant advantage, and a cushion to survive US sanctions.
Apple, which was on the fringes of 5G until the launch of iPhone 12 series in October, will now play a more important role in future. The next wave of 5G devices is going to come from regions like North America and Europe, areas with relatively big installed base of Apple users. The launch of iPhone 12 series will prove to be an inflection point for 5G in these areas and the top 10 list will look quite different after a couple of months.
5G models have increased at breakneck speeds, from just around 50 models in Q1 2020, we now have more than 200 models with 5G network available in the world. 5G Models have also been extremely attractive to buyers, the sales of 5G models have grown by almost 300% from Q1 2020 to Q3 2020.
In January 2020, the top 10 5G models accounted for 93% of the total 5G sales globally. But after nine months, the figure has come down to 37%. Going forward, as more 5G devices are launched and penetrate lower price bands, this figure will go even lower.