5G smartphone shipments 'to overtake 4G by 2023'

Josh Hall's picture

Shipments of 5G-ready smartphone handsets will overtake their 4G counterparts within the next four years.

This is according to new research from Canalys, which predicts that nearly 800 million of the new, high-speed units will ship every year by 2023.

At this point they will account for 51 per cent of all handsets shipped, eclipsing their older rivals.

In total, Canalys expects 1.9 billion 5G devices to have shipped by 2023, with average annual growth of 180 per cent.

That growth rate will ramp up significantly in the coming years, with 2019 and 2020 expected to see modest growth.

According to Canalys, just 13 million 5G handsets will ship this year, followed by 164 million next year.

In May, EE became the first mobile carrier to launch a 5G network in the UK.

As we reported, the trial is initially available in just six cities and, while speeds will immediately be higher than 4G, they will remain far below the potential 20Gbps that 5G can eventually theoretically deliver.

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