Analyst: a 5G iPhone this year could have added 60% to the U.S. 5G market

Counterpoint Research estimates that 5G smartphone sales will exceed five million units in 2019 as carriers ramp their 5G networks and device portfolios. Global 5G smartphone sales will reach 22 million units, according to our estimates. Overall, the U.S. will lead the market in 5G smartphone sales, followed by China, adds the research group.

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"Currently, 5G smartphone sales are limited as the LG V50 and the Samsung S10 5G are the only devices available. The mmWave supporting Samsung S10 5G was exclusive to Verizon until the end of June, but all major carriers have launched it now. The first half of 2019 will see a sharp increase in 5G smartphone sales as carriers expand their coverage and more 5G devices launch. Expansion in mmWave capable devices will be key for growth as consumers will see the dramatic speed increases over LTE.”

Except for Apple, all major original equipment manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, ZTE, and OnePlus will sell 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019.

"We believe Apple will not have a 5G capable iPhone available until 2020,” Fieldhack adds. “If Apple had launched a 5G device this year, we believe that the U.S. market size for 5G would have been at least 60% higher than the current estimate."