What you need to know
- Qualcomm held its Analyst Day 2019 on November 19.
- During the event, the company predicted that 450 million 5G smartphones will ship in 2021.
- Then, in 2022, Qualcomm expects 750 million more 5G phones to ship.
On November 19, Qualcomm held its Qualcomm Analyst Day 2019 in which the company's executives get together with "investment professionals" in New York for a day-long event. During said event, Qualcomm talked about its predictions for 5G smartphone sales in the coming years.
According to Qualcomm, it expects 450 million 5G smartphones to be shipped in 2021. Then, a year later, Qualcomm anticipates 750 million more 5G phones to ship in 2022.
Qualcomm previously predicted that 200 million 5G phones would ship in 2020, and compared to the new predictions for 2021, that's a growth of 125% between the two years — not a small number by any stretch of the imagination.
Right now in 2019, your choice of 5G-capable phones is pretty limited. There's the Galaxy S10 5G, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, LG V50 5G, and that's about it (at least for the U.S. market).
5G support is expected to be much more widely available next year, with flagship phones including it by default rather than having to offer specific 5G versions of said flagships. Wireless networks themselves also still need to be built out more before 5G becomes the norm, so even if more devices do get shipped in the coming years, it'll be a while before 5G is as widely used and adopted as LTE is right now.
Even with that cynicism in mind, it is encouraging that Qualcomm is anticipating such large numbers for 5G handsets in 2021 and 2022.