Lenovo will launch the world's first 5G-enabled smartphone powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chip, Vice President Chang Cheng said in a recent post published on Chinese social media network Weibo which has now been removed. The industry veteran didn't provide any other details on the device, nor did he elaborate on its planned availability.
As Qualcomm turned to TSMC instead of Samsung for the production of the Snapdragon 855 which will use the Taiwanese company's 7nm process node, the high-end silicon may not follow the exact release pattern of its predecessors, most of which were announced near year-end. The chip still shouldn't debut later than December, with its first commercial implementations being expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2019. Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, and OnePlus already confirmed they're planning on releasing 5G handsets next year, though most phone makers are consistently downplaying claims about a 5G race taking place in the mobile industry, arguing that the next generation of connectivity won't be widely available until at least 202o, so the title of the world's first 5G-enabled device won't amount to much as far as consumer-facing benefits are concerned.
The initial version of 5G may offer speeds that are up to ten times higher than 4G LTE solutions but 5G NR communications may also increase their power consumption by as much as 250-percent, according to recent estimates. Due to that state of affairs, electronics makers are presently in need of more efficient chips, compact higher-capacity batteries, and advanced cooling solutions. The United States, South Korea, Japan, China, and Australia are presently the forerunners in the 5G race, with all major stateside carriers previously pledging to deliver nationwide 5G connectivity by 2020. Lenovo may see 5G as a way to differentiate its high-end smartphones next year as the company is still trying a wide variety of moves in an attempt to revitalize its struggling mobile business.