Qualcomm's Biggest Move Yet To Increase 5G Phone Adoption & Availability

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Qualcomm has confirmed 2020 will see a greater expansion in the number of 5G phones available.

While that seems like a given, what Qualcomm is really saying here is that more of its Snapdragon mobile chips will be 5G chips in 2020.

It is this point that Qualcomm argues will help to accelerate 5G device availability and adoption.

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5G comes to more Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms

Most premium devices announced this year come running on Qualcomm's premium 800 series chips. Ones that are already capable of offering 5G support, albeit through a separate 5G modem.

Earlier in the year, Qualcomm announced plans to launch an integrated SoC solution. We now know that will apply to the 700 series and that itself opens the door to more devices gaining 5G support.

Now, Qualcomm is confirming that its 600 series will also be getting a 5G support upgrade. As the 600 series is typically included in even more affordable phones than the 700 and 800 lines, this points to a greater availability of 5G smartphones in the market.

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Qualcomm says devices powered by a Snapdragon 600 series 5G chip will start to arrive in the second half of next year. In the meantime, the company also confirmed it's accelerating the rollout of its 700 integrated 5G solution. Specifically, Qualcomm expects to launch the chip in the fourth quarter of this year, with devices expected to follow soon after.

Qualcomm has confirmed devices from OPPO, Vivo, Motorola, HMD Global, and LG will be some of the first to use the 700 series 5G integrated chips.

More phones hopefully leads to higher adoption

The key to this announcement is that Qualcomm wants to accelerate 5G device adoption at the consumer level.

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Up until now this has remained more of a feature associated with the most premium and the most expensive devices. In most cases, 5G variants cost more than the exact same device without 5G.

While it's unlikely the expansion of 5G support to the 700 and 600 chips will change the fact 5G versions cost more than non-5G versions, as these chips are aimed at devices outside of the very top tier, that in itself will hopefully make 5G devices more accessible. That's both in terms of availability and price.

This is particularly true of the 600 series. While these chips are aimed at upper-mid phones, they're also aimed at mid-range phones in general. The idea is to bring more premium features to less premium devices.

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This announcement is a prime example with 5G currently the definition of a premium feature. One that's now starting to trickle down the SoC tiers.