5G handset availability is expected to ramp up aggressively in 2020 to reach 158 million units particularly in the second half of 2020 as services get launched across a wider range of cities across the world, Credit Suisse said.
The growth will be propelled by the availability of Android handsets based on integrated chipsets along with 5G-enabled Apple iPhones.
“We revise our global smartphone model and introduce our explicit estimate of 158 mn 5G units in 2020. We believe 5G could kick-start a replacement cycle, potentially lifting annual growth rates for a couple of years by 3-4%,” the agency said in a note.
Credit Suisse said that the semiconductor ecosystem is already ready, with discrete 5G modems covering both sub-6GHz and mmWave from all major suppliers such as Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei are now available.
The integrated chipsets, which will help bring device prices down, will be ready by the first half of 2020 with MediaTek the first to announce availability in 1Q20.
“Essentially, we are looking at multiple mainstream 5G models being launched by 2H20,” the agency said.
UniSOC (a subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup) also has a discrete sub-6GHz 5G modem currently testing with Hisense.
Samsung, LG, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Lenovo (through a Motorola add-on module) have had commercial 5G models already shipping in the first half of 2019.
Models from Huawei, Vivo, and additional models from Samsung and Lenovo is expected to start shipping in the second half of this year.
“Importantly, we expect Apple to join the 5G market with its 2020 models, just as 5G networks start to ramp in major global markets,” it said.
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