Apple's iPhone 12 is the best-selling 5G smartphone

Five out of the top 10 5G models are from Chinese manufacturers, according to Counterpoint

Apple’ iPhone 12 became the world’s best-selling 5G smartphone within two weeks of its global launch in October, surpassing Samsung and Huawei that launched their rival models last year, according to industry data.

Despite a delayed launch due to coronavirus-induced supply chain disruptions, the iPhone 12 managed to capture 16 per cent of the 5G smartphone market in October, according to Singapore-headquartered Counterpoint Research. Apple released its iPhone 12 series, which starts at Dh2,999 ($817) on October 13.

It was followed by iPhone 12 Pro (starts from Dh4,199) that grabbed 8 per cent of the market.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - the best-selling 5G device in September - slipped to third position with a 4 per cent market share. Counterpoint did not disclose the exact number of units sold.

“The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro together captured close to [a quarter] of the total 5G smartphone sales in October … this is a big achievement, considering the new iPhone series was available for only two weeks in October,” Varun Mishra, Gurgaon-based research analyst at Counterpoint Research, said.

Five out of the top 10 5G models are from Chinese manufacturers. Over 60 per cent of the global 5G market is situated in China.

The next wave of demand for 5G devices is expected to come from North America and Europe, areas with relatively big installed base of Apple users.

“There is large pent-up demand for 5G upgrades, especially within the iOS base, which is now getting converted into sales", Mr Mishra said. "This was complemented by strong carrier promos, especially in the US, which accounted for over one-third of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro sales for the month.”

Going forward, demand for the iPhone 12 series is likely to remain strong throughout the last quarter.

“Due to the late launch, some of the sales will be pushed to subsequent months, thus [Apple] maintaining the momentum of the iPhone 12 series in early 2021 as well,” Mr Mishra said.

A 5G network promises an internet speed of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually reach 10Gbps – 100 times faster than 4G.

With a wider global roll out of the 5G network expected next year, smartphone companies are gearing up to provide cheaper 5G-enabled devices.

With lower-priced 5G smartphones, companies such as Vivo, Samsung, Oppo and Google are attempting to grow their consumer hardware business and attract new customers in a slow market.

Customers can now purchase 5G-enabled smartphones ranging from of $150 to $1,600.