5G smartphone sales accounted for 14% of total US sales in August, up from just 3% in January 2020, according to Counterpoint’s latest North America Channel Share Tracker research. Despite the COVID-19 impact on both supply and demand, consumers have shown increased interest in 5G devices as they continue to move down price tiers. 5G sales will likely spike even higher in Q4 when Apple launches its latest iPhone 12 line-up with 5G.
Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “5G penetration was just around 1% in 2019. However, it has steadily increased this year as more OEMs launched 5G devices. We expect more OEMs to launch 5G devices going forward as 5G chipsets continue moving down price tiers. Carriers want more of their subscriber base on 5G networks and are pushing OEMs to launch more affordable 5G smartphones. The biggest shift will come when Apple launches its newest iPhones in Q4. Apple has a market share of around 40% or higher in the US. When Apple begins selling 5G iPhones, this will sharply increase the market share of 5G devices on a monthly sell-through basis. Overall, we expect 5G smartphones to make up around 20% of total sales in 2020.”
Senior Research Analyst Hanish Bhatia said, “Over the last year, we have seen 5G ASP drop over $300 to reach $730 in July 2020. Samsung was the first to begin launching devices below $600 with the Galaxy A71 5G in June and continued it with the A51 5G in August for $499.99. Verizon continues to have the highest 5G smartphone ASP due to its requirement of mmWave, which typically adds around $50–$100 to the BoM cost.”
Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne added, “The most popular 5G smartphone so far in 2020 is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G. Despite the slow start to S20 sales due to COVID-19, we saw a boost in sales in June and July because of pent-up demand and stimulus money. Now, with devices entering the sub-$600 price band, 5G is becoming more accessible and attainable for consumers.”