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Huawei says it also shipped millions of 5G smartphones in 2019

(Image credit: Future)

Huawei has revealed it shipped 6.9 million 5G phones in 2019 as sales of next-generation connected devices was higher than expected.

The company said the sales reflected its "relentless commitment" to the development of 5G technology, which it says is available to more customers than any other vendor.

Huawei released eight 5G smartphones last year - Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G, Huawei Mate 30 5G, Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS, Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, Huawei nova 6 5G and Huawei Mate X, as well as the Honor V30 Pro and Honor V30 from its sister brand.

5G phone sales

Huawei has invested billions in its 5G research in the past few years as it looks to establish itself as one of the world leaders in connectivity, with its network infrastructure products such as base stations and routers making up key parts of many existing 5G networks across the world.

This is despite the company still being engaged in a long-running dispute with the US over concerns its technology could be used for illegal surveillance - a claim Huawei has long denied.

Huawei is the world's largest maker of mobile networking equipment and the Chinese firm has repeatedly denied that its equipment could be used for spying, with industry warnings suggesting that banning the Chinese telecom giant outright would cost billions of dollars.

The news comes shortly after Samsung claimed it had also enjoyed stronger 5G device sales than expected, with the South Korean giant stating it sold 6.7 million 5G phones in 2019

The company claimed that this figure made up over half (53.9 percent) of the global 5G marketplace, although this may now be called into question given Huawei's supposed higher sales number.