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200 million 5G phones will be sent in 2020: analysts

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The global shipments of 5G phones will reach 199 million by the end of 2020, said this week the market research firm Strategy Analytics. However, the disruption caused by the deadly coronavirus will limit the number of devices sold, according to the report.

Only 19 million 5G phones were sent in 2019, but by the end of this year, Strategy Analytics expects 15 percent of all smartphones sent worldwide to be 5G phones. The largest markets for these devices are expected to be the United States, China, South Korea, Germany and Japan.

“The current scare caused by the coronavirus and the subsequent economic slowdown will put a limit on the overall demand for 5G this year,” Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “The COVID-19 outbreak is currently restricting smartphone production in Asia, disrupting supply chains and deterring consumers from visiting retail stores to buy new 5G devices in some parts of China.”

Strategy Analytics expects “a strong rebound” during the second half of 2020 if the spread of the coronavirus is reduced.

Coronavirus is a disease that has symptoms similar to pneumonia. The World Health Organization (WHO) was first informed on December 31 after it originated in Wuhan, China, and extended to Asia, the United States, Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Chinese scientists have linked the disease to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses that include deadly SARS and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS. Coronavirus deaths now total more than 2,100, with more than 75,000 confirmed cases worldwide.