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Here comes a massive 5G smartphone boom in 2020: Goldman Sachs

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

It’s almost time for the entire smartphone ecosystem to cash in on the coming 5G technology boom.

That boom could be explosive for smartphone makers such as Samsung — and Apple (AAPL) if it gets a 5G phone out next year — in the early going, says Goldman Sachs. On Monday, the investment bank significantly jacked up its 2020 5G smartphone estimates to 120 million from 50 million. Analyst Rod Hall points to his supply chain research indicating “much higher” 5G device sales than previously expected, particularly in China.

Hall had believed that 5G would only be available in limited parts of the world with Chinese network build outs delayed due to Huawei trade restrictions. But the analyst now sees 5G supply chain equipment bottlenecks easing in China.

“We believe Huawei’s ability to build 5G NR gNBs without U.S. components should help to drive meaningful deployments in China in 2020 which support additional Chinese 5G device sales,” Hall wrote in a new research note today.

5G — which essentially gives ultra fast downloads to users — is expected to be a significant catalyst for the communications industry. The technology being put in place today by Verizon Communications (VZ), T-Mobile (TMUS) and AT&T (T) is likely to reap big-time profits for the cohort over time as consumers pay up to gain access to better download speeds.

Wall Street generally thinks Verizon is ahead of its rivals in rolling out 5G. Verizon is fresh off switching on 5G capabilities in parts of New York City — it’s on track to have 5G in 30 cities by the end of 2019.

Meanwhile, the likes of Apple, Samsung and even Huawei will see consumers drop their old 4G phones and trade up to new offerings that unlock 5G’s true potential.

Disclosure: Verizon Communications is the parent company of Yahoo Finance.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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