Qualcomm on Wednesday unveiled Snapdragon 690 chip that supports 5G technology and will power smartphones in price range of USD 300-500 (about Rs 22,000-38,000). Devices based on the Snapdragon 690 are expected to be commercially available in the second half of this year.
HMD Global, LG Electronics, Motorola, SHARP, TCL, and Wingtech are among the handset makers expected to announce smartphones powered by Snapdragon 690. “We are focussed on bringing 5G to everyone…We have more than 60 OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) who have launched or announced 5G devices and we have more than 375 5G devices either in the market or out. 5G is deploying much more rapidly than 4G,” Deepu John, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, said.
Comparing deployment rates of 4G versus 5G, he said one year after 4G deployments started, it had 4 mobile operators and 3 OEMs launching 4G devices. “In the same time duration, after 5G deployment started, we have had more than 60 operators in 30-plus countries and more than 40 OEMs launching 5G devices.
In fact this year, Qualcomm expects 175-225 million 5G handsets to be sold worldwide. So you can see the sheer scale and breadth of adoption of 5G,” he said. John explained while 5G capability is available in premium smartphones, the company wants to “bring more flagship experiences” like immersive camera and intensive and interactive gaming to billions of people.
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Asked about the cost of the devices featuring the Snapdragon 690, he said the price points of the handsets are finally determined by the OEMs themselves. “We are targeting handsets anywhere from USD 300 to USD 500 using 690. There are many factors that determine handset prices like display, memory,” he added.
5G services are yet to rolled out in India. Qualcomm — which offers chips for different tiers of phones — said driving the expansion of 5G into the Snapdragon 6-series has the potential to make 5G accessible to more than two billion smartphone users around the world. With the addition of Snapdragon 690, there will be more than 1,800 devices either announced and in development in the 6-series.