In a nutshell: Samsung has long been at the top when it comes to worldwide smartphone shipments, and it's leading the 5G handset segment, too. The Korean giant took 74 percent of this emerging market in the most recent quarter, according to new research.
IHS Markit reports that Samsung shipped 3.2 million of the 4.3 million 5G smartphones in Q3 2019. And while its share of devices fell from 83 percent to 74 percent, its shipments increased over 100 percent from the previous quarter's 1.5 million.
Sitting behind Samsung in second place is LG, which took 10 percent of the market with 400,000 shipments. Both companies were quick to get their 5G devices onto the market and take advantage of the early 5G networks in South Korea.
With a total of five 5G devices, Samsung has the largest portfolio of these phones. Its Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G was the best-selling 5G handset last quarter, moving 1.6 million units.
"Samsung is integrating 5G connectivity in a broad range of devices, from the Galaxy A90 to the Galaxy Fold 5G," said Jusy Hong, smartphone research and analysis director at IHS Markit. "The Galaxy Fold's combination of new display technology and 5G connectivity shines a light on the potential of multiple technologies to transform the mobile user experience."
The rest of the top 5G companies is made up of Chinese firms: Vivo, Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi. While they may take a large share of the non-5G smartphone market, their combined share here is just 17 percent.
The average price of a 5G smartphone is dropping, down from $1,153 in Q2 to $994 in Q3, though they're still three times higher than the average smartphone price of $309. But with costs declining, the likelihood of 5G iPhones, and more 5G networks coming online, including those in China, demand for the handsets is expected to jump from 13.5 million in 2019 to 253 million next year.
Samsung is also leading the way when it comes to non-5G Android phones. Recent data showed the Galaxy Note 9 was the most popular of these handset in most US states.