While 5G-capable smartphones are only projected to truly take off in the next couple of years
, bringing back growth to the entire global industry
, a few of the early models appear to be selling better than expected. We're talking about last spring's Galaxy S10 5G
and LG V50 ThinQ
, but also the hot new 5G-enabled variants of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10
and Note 10+.
Those are actually the only variants up for grabs in South Korea, where the Galaxy Note 10 family has reportedly crushed all first-month sales records
for both the Note and Galaxy S lineups. Meanwhile, 5G networks aren't spreading quite as fast in the US, which explains why the Note 10
and Note 10+
are available on the nation's big four carriers in 4G LTE-limited configurations.
But Verizon also sells the Note 10+ 5G
, which obviously doesn't come cheap
, fetching a whopping $1300 outright. Believe it or not, that hasn't stopped the powerhouse from moving a solid 40,000 units in August, at least according to one analyst at a market research firm quoted by TechRepublic
A third of early Note 10 sales at Big Red
We probably don't have to tell you the Note 10 and Note 10+ are radically different phones, with much more than their screen size setting them apart. Somewhat bizarrely, the Note 10+ 5G looks identical to its non-5G brother, and the two also share every single feature besides cellular connectivity. The Galaxy S10 5G
, if you remember, was bigger than the S10+
and it naturally came with a larger battery on deck, as well as an extra camera.
The LTE-only Note 10+ is presumably the most popular variant on Verizon
Incredibly enough, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G seems to be keeping up with the pace of its LTE-only relatives while outselling the 5G-enabled S10 and LG V50 ThinQ
at both Verizon and rival carriers. In other words, this is by far the nation's most successful 5G smartphone to date, and even though sales numbers are likely to decline in the near future, Verizon should be able to continue moving at least 30,000 units a month through the end of the year.
By the way, that 40K total represents pre-order figures and just nine days of retail availability, so before sales start to drop, they may actually grow in September. It's unclear if the Note 10, Note 10+, and Note 10+ 5G each accounted for a third of the family's August sales at Verizon, but something tells us the smaller and slightly lower-end variant
didn't prove quite as popular as the other two. That's because apparently the "Note buyer is price-insensitive and wants the latest and greatest technology", which probably means the Note 10+ model without 5G support achieved even higher sales than 40,000 units, leaving the "regular" Note 10 with a lower number than the Note 10+ 5G.
Did Apple make a mistake by snubbing 5G in its 2019 iPhones?
While it's fairly easy to jump to that conclusion based on the US and Korean popularity of 5G-capable Note 10 versions, it's important to remember the iPhone 11 trio
is reportedly off to a good start
of its own. Besides, that 40K number is not bad for a single carrier and nine days of retail availability, but in the grand scheme of things, it's hardly a game-changing number.
We're still months, perhaps years away from the moment when 5G technology will truly change the game, boosting the download speeds and improving the overall mobile network experience for the masses. For the time being, Verizon's 5G coverage
, and things aren't better on other carriers either. So, yes, Samsung is gaining an early advantage in the fledgling 5G smartphone market, but Apple can definitely hope to vie for the crown this time next year