5G is the name of the next-generation wireless technology that promises far faster internet access than 4G. Experts predict it will begin to take off in 2019, enhancing communications among IoT devices.
August was a big month for 5G smartphone sales in China. From January to August this year, Chinese consumers bought 291,000 5G mobile phones, but 75% of them were sold in August alone, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. That’s about 219,000 5G phones sold in one month.
But this is still tame compared to sales in countries like South Korea. By June, Samsung had already sold 1 million 5G phones.
In China, local brands including Huawei and ZTE have already released 5G handsets, and Vivo and Xiaomi are preparing to launch their own in the country soon. This puts Apple in a tough position, as the US tech giant just released the iPhone 11 without 5G.
China is set to become the world’s largest 5G market, with more than 31 million 5G smartphone connections by the end of next year, according to GSMA Intelligence. Within five years, Chinese consumers are expected to account for a third of 5G smartphones globally, according to research agency Canalys.