This year, there has been a lot of flagship unveils by Samsung, Apple, LG, Huawei, OnePlus, and more. Most of these flagship devices have 5G capability or have a version that does. Huawei has a 5G variant for its Mate 30 flagship smartphone as well. 5G technology has seen widespread adoption in a handful of countries as of now, but by 2020, it is expected to be what 4G is today. To meet this milestone, the 5G technology must be brought to mid and lower range smartphones as well, not just flagship smartphones. But we’ve seen quite the opposite trend recently.
However, the CEO of Huawei has revealed to journalists that Huawei is planning to release cheaper phones with 5G capability in 2020. “This year (our) premium segmentation is 5G, next year we will go to middle tier 5G smartphones, and later on, the low tier”, he said in the interview.
Currently, the 5G chipset is costly to implement in smartphones as it requires a separate chipset for calling and internet capabilities. This is the reason why Huawei has released a 5G variant of their flagship instead of going with only one version of the phone with 5G capability. But researchers at companies like Huawei and Apple are working on condensing the 5G chipsets into one and hence making it cheaper.
Huawei is known to have Kirin processors in its flagship as well as midrange devices. Specifically, Huawei used the Kirin 810 SoC for most of its midrange smartphones this year. This leads us to believe that Huawei will continue using Kirin processors for its midrange line up next year. However, Kirin doesn’t have any offerings for the low-end phones. In 2019, we saw that the company shifted to using the Kirin 710 processor for low end smartphones which was initially a chipset designed for mid range smartphones. We could see the same trend in 2020 if a 5G capable successor to the Kirin 710 processor is released next year.
Apart from Huawei, other companies like Samsung are working to bring 5G capability to its mid and low range smartphones as well. The Exynos 980 processor, for example, has an integrated modem for 5G support and is believed to be featured in mid range smartphones from Samsung next year. 5G capability is also coming to Qualcomm’s mid to low range Snapdragon processors next year.