Currently, as market leader, Samsung holds around 20 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, followed by Huawei and Apple at around 14 and 13 per cent respectively during the third quarter of this year.

Giants Fall to Technology Transition

Earlier, when the telecommunications industry moved from 2G, 3G and to 4G, a number of major smartphone market players lost significant amounts of market share owing to challenges rising from design innovations to keep up with technological advancements.

The biggest example of this was the fall of Finland-based Nokia which was a market leader during the period of 2G, and lost significant traction during 3G, and almost completely faded away during the era of 4G. The company was unable to keep up with new advances such as dual-sim capabilities. Despite the acquisition of the company by Microsoft, the business had to stop.

Similarly, Motorola also lost significant market share during the move from 2G to 3G. While Samsung was the biggest gainer during the 3G period, with an increase of double the market share, the company is anticipated to face a tough time with 5G, as China is anticipated to be one of the major markets for the new technology, with Chinese smartphone manufacturers taking center stage.

In addition, Huawei is also anticipated to face a challenging time during the period of transition, owing to the blockage of the company’s smartphone and 5G business within the United States.

Expected Winners of the 5G Battle

Small scale players including Sony, and Sharp are anticipated to gain market share in the local markets, provided they display agility in brand marketing and technology building. On the other hand, brands such as OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, are anticipated to gain market share on a global scale, with the enhancement of distribution and marketing networks, leading to profitable sales of several million units. All of these companies already have a strong network in Asia and Europe and are anticipated to put forth strong competition in North and South America during the 5G phase.

At a time, when consumers are unwilling to pay high amounts on new phones which show only small improvements, the intense competition between smartphone manufacturers will largely come down to who has the wider portfolio of useful intellectual property.

Market players such as Lenovo-Motorola and LG will require smart strategizing to transition successfully in to 5G or risk heavy losses, While Samsung and Huawei, will face challenges owing to their limited presence in the China and US markets.

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