Besides the premium chipsets, orders for 5G modems are keeping TSMC’s 7nm fabs running at full capacity. This has lead the company to conclude that the demand for 5G smartphones next year will reach 300 million units.
The info comes from a leaked internal report and is much more optimistic than what others are predicting – they say 200 million units or less. Either way, it will be a major increase in demand compared to this year.
Strategy Analytics estimates that 5G smartphones will make up only 1% of total sales this year. Next year, the number will be 10 times bigger. Five years from now almost half of phones sold will have 5G connectivity.
What’s stopping most consumers from jumping on the 5G bandwagon today is the cost of devices as well as the relatively sparse coverage. But more affordable devices are on the way and carriers are constantly rolling out 5G to new cities.
Currently, Samsung is the market leader thanks to strong sales in its home country of South Korea. However, Huawei is predicted to ship 80 million 5G phones in China next year – that would be half of all shipments as Strategy Analytics estimates a total of only 160 million. Anyway, Samsung has only 1% market share in China so it will likely have to find other regions to sell its 5G phones.