Samsung says it has shipped 6.7 million 5G phones

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung started selling some of the first 5G phones in the world last year with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and Galaxy S10 5G. And while carriers are still building out their 5G networks, millions of people around the world are buying Samsung’s 5G phones — at least, according to Samsung.

The company announced tonight (Jan. 2) that it has shipped more than 6.7 million 5G Galaxy phones around the world. At the IFA trade show in September, the company announced that it had shipped 2 million 5G phones, which means Samsung significantly ramped up shipments for the holiday quarter.

Shipments do not equal sales — the former is usually higher than the latter. But presumably Samsung wouldn’t ship millions more phones than retailers could sell. 

Samsung also said its phones make up more than half of the global 5G smartphone market — 53.9%, to be exact. The company also makes a wider variety of 5G handsets than many other companies selling 5G phones, such as LG, which offers only one 5G handset. (OnePlus makes two that are available in the U.S.) In addition to the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G and Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung makes a 5G version of its gigantic bendable Galaxy Fold phablet that it sells in Korea, Germany and Britain. (That version isn’t coming to the U.S.)

If Samsung has sold close to 7 million 5G phones, that would be a surprising development, but a drop in the bucket compared to the 79 million smartphones the company sold overall in the third quarter of last year. But considering the hefty price tags of Samsung’s 5G phones, which cost well over $1,000, and the limited availability of 5G (at least in the U.S.), the fact that Samsung may be selling millions of these things bodes well for the company.

As for 2020, Samsung said when announcing 5G phone shipments that it's working on ways to further improve the speed, performance and security of its 5G-enabled devices. Hopefully that includes the price, too — at $1,299 both the S10 5G and Note 10 Plus 5G cost considerably more than other Samsung flagships.

Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom's Guide, Macworld, PCWorld and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she's not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.