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5G smartphone global shipments to hit over 100 million units by 2021: Report

USA, Korea, China, and Japan will be key markets for growth of smartphone sales.
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The 5G shipments are expected to grow a whopping 255 per cent by 2021.

The 5G shipments are expected to grow a whopping 255 per cent by 2021.

A new Counterpoint Research report revealed on Tuesday, that 5G smartphone global shipments are expected to grow a whopping 255 per cent by 2021, almost reaching 110 million units.

According to the latest research by the international market tracking advisory, while the growth will be slow during the initial commercialisation phase in 2019, there will be an uptick in sales, once countries shift from non-standalone to standalone 5G infrastructure, Counterpoint said.

5G smartphone shipments are expected to touch 110 million units by 2021.

5G smartphone shipments are expected to touch 110 million units by 2021.

“There are still forward looking 5G standards that are unconfirmed, creating uncertainty around product and service opportunities. We also expect 5G chips to have a higher price point which will initially drive the cost of devices up,” Research Director said. “5G capable devices will be premium only in the beginning. Also only a handful of countries will be deploying the first 5G infrastructure.”

The US, Korea, China and Japan will be key markets for infrastructure development and growth of sales, Counterpoint noted. "We are seeing some great initial developments happening in the US, South Korea, China, and Japan and expect growth to be concentrated in these countries due to their big roll-out plans for 5G starting in 2019," said Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne. Other countries, especially in Europe, are more likely to leapfrog to standalone 5G as they will want to wait for concrete business cases to arise, before fully committing to the transition, Counterpoint noted.

The overall handset market will slow to a CAGR of 1-2 per cent from 2018-2021 due to market saturation and product innovations that are not spurring growth. According to Peter Richardson, the consultancy's research director, "5G devices will begin gaining in share in the market, but overall transition to 5G could be slow and steady. Once we establish better 5G business cases and infrastructure, the market will begin seeing higher sales overall."