Global 5G smartphone shipments crosses 2 bn units in Q4 2023

Global cumulative shipments of 5G smartphones surpassed 2 billion units in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, with Apple and Samsung topping the list, a new report said on Friday.

According to Counterpoint Research, this was achieved in less than five years, the shortest period when compared to previous technologies like 4G or 3G.

It took 4G smartphones six years to reach this mark.

“The affordability and accessibility of 5G smartphones have improved due to the narrowing price gap between 5G and 4G chipsets, along with strategic component selection by OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to maintain the bill of materials (BOM) cost,” the analysts said.

About 70 per cent of all 5G shipments came from developed smartphone markets such as China, the US and Western Europe. Apple and Samsung shipped more than 1 billion units cumulatively.

According to the report, smartphone brands have heavily promoted 5G capabilities and features while differentiating their offerings in a highly competitive market.

The launch of the iPhone 12 series, the first 5G-capable iPhones, significantly accelerated 5G adoption, taking global 5G shipments to above 100 million units in a single quarter for the first time in Q4 2020.

The momentum continued and the shipments hit a new record in Q4 2023, reaching 200 million units in a single quarter.

As explained by analysts, 5G smartphones are equipped with all the necessary elements to penetrate the affordable segments of emerging markets.

Therefore, emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia will drive the momentum for the next billion of 5G smartphone shipments.

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