Apple may have been relatively late in launching a 5G device, but sales of compatible iPhones mean next-gen handsets now account for more than half of the market for the first time.
According to Counterpoint Research, 51% of all smartphones sold in January could connect to a 5G network, with the iPhone accounting for 37% of them.
Samsung, which was an early 5G maker, has a 12% market share, followed by Xiaomi (11%), Vivo (11%) and Oppo (11%).
5G smartphone sales
The performance of the latter three companies demonstrates China’s early leadership in 5G deployment and adoption, but Apple’s influence is also having a major impact.
Apple has often been a slow follower of new technologies, preferring to take its time perfecting its approach. For example, Android makers introduced now-standard features like Near Field Communication (NFC) and wireless charging long before the iPhone, but it wasn’t until Apple got on board that they have become consumer technologies.
This is partly because Apple’s tight integration of hardware and software, coupled with its ability to market and educate a receptive user base, drives adoption. This reinforces familiarity with a technology and also encourages the adoption of similar services on Android.
A separate survey released last week suggested 5G was a key buying decision among consumers as coverage expands globally. Natural device lifecycles also help explain the rise, as it’s increasingly difficult to buy a high-end or mid-range smartphone without 5G these days.
Apple’s influence could increase further with the launch of the latest iPhone SE, the first mid-range device to include 5G compatibility.