Apple's entry into the 5G race in the third quarter of 2020 will catapult the iPhone maker to top position, ahead of Samsung and Huawei, a new report has predicted.
"It may seem counter-intuitive that Apple, which currently has no 5G phones in its portfolio will be able to pass current 5G market leaders Samsung and Huawei," Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
"But with three new 5G models coming next year, Apple merely needs to match its current upgrade rates for newly introduced iPhone models to take the lead next year," he added.
Samsung currently is the undisputed market leader in 5G smartphones.
"But with the two largest 5G markets in 2020, China and the US, dominated by Huawei and Apple respectively, these two vendors are set to lead in 5G next year," commented Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics.
Apple is mobilising suppliers to produce its first 5G iPhones next year, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Apple plans to launch three 5G phones and ship at least 80 million of the new devices, said the report, citing sources.
While leading smartphone players like Samsung and Huawei have launched their 5G phones, Apple's iPhone 11 series supports 4G.
The new iPhones will carry the most advanced 5G modem chip, known as X55 that is designed by Qualcomm, according to the Nikkei report. The iPhones will be powered by Apple's latest-generation processor, known as A14.
However, in the longer term Samsung will regain the 5G crown.
"As more markets cut over to 5G, Samsung will capture the majority of that share by virtue of its dominance of the overall smartphone market and a broader portfolio of 5G devices across more price-bands," said Hyers.
Huawei's potential in 5G smartphone sales is currently limited by the US technology trade ban
"Huawei is dominant in China and will likely remain so. But until the ban is lifted, prospects for Huawei in 5G smartphone sales elsewhere are limited," said Ville-Petteri Ukonaho from Strategy Analytics.