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Qualcomm could allow OEMs to release several 5G smartphones this year

The X50 5G modem could be integrated in mobile devices as well as desktop PCs. (Source: XDA Developers)
The X50 5G modem could be integrated in mobile devices as well as desktop PCs. (Source: XDA Developers)
Major cities in the US and across the globe are testing 5G services throughout this year, and some areas might even get limited 5G connectivity in the second half of 2018. Tis has prompted some OEMs to pressure Qualcomm into allowing them to integrate the X50 5G modem and maybe even the upcoming Snapdragon 855 SoC in several smartphones that could launch by the end of 2018.
Bogdan Solca,
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The first 5G networks are already being tested in select cities around the world, but the first 5G smartphones might not be released this year, at least judging by Samsung’s schedule to launch the Exynos 9820 in early 2019. Huawei’s Kirin 980 should also support 5G networks, but there is no release date specified or rumored for this one at the moment. However, according to Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President of Engineering Durga Prasad Malladi, there are a few smartphone OEMs that are eager to implement the company’s upcoming 7 nm Snapdragon 855 SoC faster than previously agreed, and, if possible, launch them before the end of 2018.

As previously mentioned, some parts of the globe will get limited 5G services in the second half of 2018, and aggressive OEMs want to capitalize on this. One of the eager OEMs was ZTE, but the recent embargo imposed by the US authorities pretty much cut it short for the Chinese company. ZTE might be saved by Samsung, but that would also mean any plans for a 2018 5G handset should be put on hold. The identity of the other OEMs is not clear, however, Qualcomm is most likely referring to all the top Chinese companies.

Qualcomm’s X50 5G modems are expected to be integrated in mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, laptop PCs, mini PCs, but it could also be sold with add-in boards for desktop PCs. Moreover, 4G LTE and 5G will coexist for at least a year, until all nodes get upgraded accordingly.

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1541 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 05 > Qualcomm could allow OEMs to release several 5G smartphones this year
Bogdan Solca, 2018-05-21 (Update: 2018-05-21)