Samsung's first 5G phones have only been on the market since May, but the company has already sold 2 million of them, an executive said Friday. That number should increase to 4 million by the end of 2019, he predicted.
"Today more than 2 million consumers around the world can connect to 5G networks using Samsung 5G smartphones," JuneHee Lee, senior vice president and head of Samsung Electronics' technology strategy team, said during Qualcomm's keynote at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin. "We expect that number to double by the end of the year."
5G is touted as a game-changing technology, with the ability to dramatically boost the speed and coverage of wireless networks. It can run between 10 and 100 times faster than your typical 4G cellular connection today. And latency, the amount of time between when your phone pings the network and when it responds, is faster than what Wi-Fi provides.
Samsung's one of the few companies to launch more than one 5G phone. As of this week at IFA, it now has a handful: the Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G (as well as the smaller Note 10 with 5G for certain markets like Korea), Galaxy A90 5G and Galaxy Fold 5G.
The first devices, the S10 5G and Note 10 Plus 5G, cost $1,300. The 5G version of Samsung's brand-new foldable sells for about $2,000 in South Korea. Its new A90 5G will cost far less. At 749 euros (about $827), the A90 5G is one of the cheapest 5G phones on the market, and it's a bargain compared with Samsung's other 5G phones.
The A90 5G, already available in Korea and coming to Europe in October, is sure to attract buyers who are interested in 5G but don't want to spend more than a grand on a phone.
While 2 million sounds like a large number of devices, it's a tiny fraction of Samsung's total smartphone sales. In the second quarter alone, Samsung shipped 76.3 million smartphones, according to Strategy Analytics. It's the world's biggest phone maker, with 22% share, the firm said.