Michelle Donegan is a tech writer who has covered the communications industry for more than 25 years on both sides of the pond. Having worked for various industry titles, including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and Light Reading, she specializes in mobile network technology trends.
Apple hasn’t even launched a 5G iPhone yet, but analysts are already forecasting that the company will leave competitors in the dust when its 5G smartphones hit the market in 2020. According new research from Strategy Analytics, Apple will take the lead in 5G smartphones when it enters the market in the third quarter next year.
The forecast assumes that Apple will launch 5G iPhones in September 2020, when it usually introduces the latest iPhone models. Apple has said very little about when it will add 5G support to its devices, but the company is expected to introduce three 5G iPhones in September 2020.
- Useful read: When will we see an Apple iPhone?
Samsung is the current market leader in 5G smartphones, followed by Huawei, according to Strategy Analytics.
Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics explained: “It may seem counterintuitive that Apple, which currently has no 5G phones in its portfolio will be able to pass current 5G market leaders Samsung and Huawei. But with three new 5G models coming next year, Apple merely needs to match its current upgrade rates for newly introduced iPhone models to take the lead next year.”
Furthermore, given that China and the U.S. will be the largest 5G markets in 2020 and are dominated by Huawei and Apple, respectively, these vendors are on track to lead the total 5G market, according to the research firm.
Longer term, Strategy Analytics expects Samsung to regain leadership in 5G smartphones as it will capture a larger share of the overall 5G device market.
Market awaits Apple’s 5G move
Not surprisingly, there is a lot of interest in Apple’s 5G devices. A recent survey by Piper Jaffray found nearly 20% of U.S. iPhone owners are interested in buying a 5G iPhone, which is a large amount considering no products have been announced or marketed yet and they will undoubtedly come with high price tags.
Although some industry watchers are expecting Apple to launch a relatively affordable 5G smartphone along with high-end models next year.