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Qualcomm States Every Android Flagship Phone will be 5G in 2019

At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit being hosted in Hawaii, the chip maker’s President Cristiano Amon stated that all Android manufactures will have a 5G phone in 2019.  He stated that every Android manufacture is currently working on 5G at the moment with launches happening next year.

“When we get to exactly this time of year one year from now … we will see every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem, their flagship across all US carriers will be a 5G device,” he told CNET in an interview Tuesday at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. “Every Android vendor is working on 5G right now.”

The news is in sharp contrast to with Apple’s plans for 5G, with most not expecting to see a compatible iPhone until at least 2020.

While specific dates and models were not mentioned, during his keynote presentation, Mr. Amon had a slide showing the major Android manufactures who have committed to 5G.  That list included:

  • Asus
  • Fujitsu
  • Google
  • HMD
  • HTC
  • InSeeGo
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Netgear
  • NetComm Wireless
  • OnePlus
  • Oppo
  • Samsung
  • Sharp
  • Sierra Wireless
  • Sony
  • Telit
  • Vivo
  • WingTech
  • WNC
  • Mi
  • ZTE

Adding to the excitement has been Samsung.  At the Qualcomm event, they have been showing a prototype, with the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem, that has been running on 5G networks from AT&T and Verizon.  Those networks were specifically setup for the event.

As expected, there was no mention of Apple or a 5G iPhone during the keynote.  Apple and Qualcomm are set to go to court on April 15, 2019 over royalties the chip manufacture charged the iPhone maker.  To say the two companies are not best mates is an understatement.  Apple has since turned to Intel for their chip and modem needs in the iPhone lineup.

For their part, most analysts do not expect to see a 5G powered iPhone until 2020.  Multiple sources have suggested that Apple has no plans to adopt the faster network in the iPhone next year which could put the device up to a year behind some Android devices.  That, however, fits Apple’s normal pattern of adopting new technologies.

Indeed, the timing of a 5G iPhone may well be better for iPhone users then Android.  Should Apple not release such a device until 2020, the vast majority of US carriers will have deployed or will be far along in deployment plans for the next generation network.  That means that iPhone users could have a better out-of-the-box experience in 2020 than Android users in 2019 when it comes to 5G.

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