5G smartphone shipments quadruple as demand gains momentum

China’s 5G smartphone shipments quadrupled in October as 5G handsets are expected to drive the whole electronics industry amid expectations of large-scale shipments in the country next year.

China has shipped 2.49 million 5G smartphones in October, having soared over 400 percent compared with the previous month. The total 5G smartphone shipments in the first 10 months hit 3.28 million units, according to a report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

The rise in 5G smartphone shipments took place against the slight drop of overall smartphone shipments in October, which saw a 6.7 percent year-on-year slide to 35.96 million. Altogether, the nation has shipped 323 million smartphones by October, a decline of 5.8 percent year-on-year.

Industry insiders said that strong demand of 5G smartphones will pull the shipments and the electronics sector to a new high and that the era of 5G handsets will soon take off in the country next year.

“China has already commenced rolling out the 5G networks and the massive market scale it brings for the entire industry will make 2020 the breakout year for 5G,” said Peter Richardson, research director at Counterpoint Research.

A CITIC Securities report predicted that more than 100 million 5G smartphones will be shipped in China in 2020.

Guotai Junan Securities said that a large number of consumers will switch to 5G handsets next year.

The pace of 5G adoption is being accelerated with Chinese smartphone vendors and telecom carriers pushing hard to launch handsets and mobile services.

Lei Jun, the founder and CEO of Xiaomi Corp, disclosed on Tuesday that Xiaomi will launch its first dual-module 5G smartphone next month and at least 10 types of 5G handsets in 2020.

A total of 20 new 5G smartphones came into the market in the first 10 months this year, according to a report by the CAICT.

China Mobile, the nation’s largest mobile carrier, said on Friday it aims to attract 70 million 5G subscribers and sell 100 million 5G smartphones next year.

With 5G services already available in 50 cities, the firm said it will invest 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) next year to build a robust ecosystem for 5G commercialization.

China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market with 460 million 5G users by 2025, according to a forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, a global telecom association.

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