In short: Honor’s president, George Zhao, announced at the World INS Conference 2018 – which is being held in Beijing – that Honor will be releasing its first 5G-capable smartphone in 2019. Zhao did not give any details about the phone, which was to be expected, since it’s not going to launch until next year, it is likely still in the early phase of design, and is an early prototype.
Background: 5G is the next big thing right now, with many companies looking to release their first 5G-capable smartphones in 2019 or even 2020. Right now, Qualcomm is the only one with a 5G-compatible modem, however it won’t be long before ARM, Intel and others are able to put out their own 5G-compatible mobile modem. It is likely that Honor will be using one of ARM’s modems, unless it decides to launch this smartphone with a Snapdragon chipset, instead of a Kirin chipset which it has been using in recent years. 5G is going to allow for faster speeds, as well as allow more bandwidth, allowing for more devices to be connected at a time, without affecting the speed of the network – which is a big issue for 4G LTE networks today. Many 5G networks aren’t expected to be online until at least early 2019, if not a bit later in the year. And of course, that will only be in a few markets. This will vary around the world. But expect South Korea, China and the US to be among the first with 5G networks.
The impact: Honor announcing that it will have a 5G smartphone coming out in 2019 means that it’s going to be one of the first to release a 5G-capable smartphone. Which, in of itself, is a pretty big deal. Motorola has already released a smartphone that will be 5G upgradeable, using a Moto Mod. But there are only a handful of other companies that have announced a 5G device coming in 2019 – those names include Samsung and LG.