Apple launched 5G and now 2 billion smartphones have it

Apple introduced 5G on iPhone 12 in 2020

Total 5G smartphone sales worldwide have increased has now exceeded 2 billion, led by Apple iPhone 12 and newer models.

The iPhone 12 was Apple's first 5G smartphone, and despite being released in late October 2020, its strong sales in two weeks have made it the most popular 5G phone in the world. It immediately dominated 5G sales and simultaneously pushed the market toward 5G, according to Counterpoint Research.

New Counterpoint data shows global 5G sales have topped 2 billion, a year faster than 4G.

“The release of the iPhone 12 series, the first 5G-enabled iPhones, significantly accelerated 5G adoption,” the research firm said, “taking global 5G shipments to exceed 100 million units in a single quarter for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2020.” “

” The momentum continued, with shipments reaching a new record in the fourth quarter of 2023, says Counterpoint, “reaching 200 million units in a single quarter.”

Apple and Samsung are the most popular 5G brands, the report says: The two companies together have sold one billion devices. Counterpoint notes that the narrowing price gap between 4G and 5G components is leading to the technology becoming available on cheaper models, benefiting large Chinese brands.

Global 5G penetration (Source: Counterpoint)

In China, Japan, the US and much of Europe, more than 80% of smartphones in 2023 were 5G Counterpoint reports that 5G penetration is 50% or more in 40 countries, while only 13 countries, such as Nigeria and Paraguay, have 5G sales share of less than 20%.

However, sales are not necessarily tied to countries where 5G is available or widespread. “Even in markets where 5G networks are not fully operational,” says Counterpoint, “consumers are choosing 5G smartphones to future-proof their investments.”

All Apple iPhones use a 5G modem made by Qualcomm. However, Apple has been working on developing its own 5G chipset for years, despite reportedly having difficulties with the project.

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