Driven by Huawei and new Apple iPhones which are set to join the ranks, the 5G handset production is expected to reach 235 million units at an 18.9% penetration rate by the end the year, according to a new report.
Led by Huawei, Chinese brands are expected to occupy four out of the top six spots of 5G smartphone brands ranked by production volume, said marker research firm TrendForce.
Huawei has shifted its focus to the domestic Chinese market under the impact of US sanctions and in preparation for China's active 5G commercialisation efforts.
The company is expected to produce about 74 million 5G smartphones this year.
Apple's yearly 5G smartphone production is expected to total about 70 million units in 2020, which lands the iPhone maker in second place.
"However, 5G functions will increase the production cost of smartphones accordingly. If Apple decides to directly reflect this added cost on the retail prices of the iPhone 12 series, it may lower its consumers' willingness to purchase, in turn affecting the sales performances of the new iPhones," said the report.
Samsung's 5G smartphone production this year is forecasted at 29 million units, placing the company in third place globally.
Vivo, OPPO (including OnePlus, OPPO, and Realme) and Xiaomi are tied for fourth place.
Vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi's yearly 5G smartphone production volumes are projected to reach about 21 million, 20 million, and 19 million units, respectively.
5G remains a hot topic in the smartphone market this year, as smartphone brands and mobile processor manufacturers, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, strive to expand their shares in the 5G market.
"As such, Chinese brands, which were ahead of their competitors in 5G strategies, occupied a 75 per cent share in the global 5G smartphone market in the first half of 2020," said the report.
The report predicted that an aggressive push by mobile processor manufacturers will lead to the rapidly increasing presence of 5G chipsets in the mid-to-low end market, driving 5G smartphone production to surpass 500 million units in 2021, which will potentially account for about 40% of the total smartphone market.