We’ll see cheaper Qualcomm-powered 5G phones in early 2021

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Ever since the first few 5G flagship phones began launching last year, we’ve wondered when the broadband standard would be supported by cheaper devices. Well we now have a better idea of when that will be as Qualcomm has revealed that it has developed support for lower cost 5G phones with its 4-Series platform.

The silicon maker also explains that this newly developed 4-Series is intended for use in as many devices as possible, with Qualcomm calling it a truly global platform.

To that end it plans to make this series available to manufacturers who wish to launch devices in the already 35 countries that have 5G rolled out in some capacity. Added to this is the expectation for the new series to feature in devices in early 2021.

“Qualcomm continues to pave the way for 5G commercialization at scale, and the expansion of 5G into our Snapdragon 4-series is expected to address regions that currently have approximately 3.5 billion smartphone users combined,” enthuses Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“The Snapdragon 4-series 5G Mobile Platform is designed to exceed expectations for the mass-market segment by bringing an assortment of predominately high- and mid-tier features to a broader audience. It will deliver on the promise of making 5G accessible to all smartphone users,” he adds.

As such, now Qualcomm has 5G-supporting smartphone processors in most of its Snapdragon lineup, including the 8-Series, 7-Series and 6-Series. This means that it can now work with companies on the creation of flagship, mid-range and entry-level 5G phones.

While Qualcomm has not listed all of its vendors, it looks like Oppo and Xiaomi will be one of the first to make use of the new 4-Series, so we could see those entry-level devices land locally in early 2021 too. That said, the rollout from both Chinese firms is unknown at this stage.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.