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Qualcomm expects a bump in 5G devices in 2020 and that could come from iPhone 5G

Qualcomm is expecting to see growth in 5G devices in 2020, with analysts believing that some of this will come down to the launch of the iPhone 5G in September 2020.

Qualcomm has reported on its Q4 2019 earnings and there’s a lot of talk about 5G. Naturally 2019 was the launch of 5G, with networks rolling out globally – including in China – and devices launching to be used on those networks, many of which use Qualcomm hardware. 

The earnings Q&A session gives some interesting insights into the projected path that 5G is going to take, but the thing that got analysts excited, according to Reuters, was that Qualcomm’s chief financial officer Akash Palkhiwala directly refers to “two inflection points” in 2020. 

Basically, he’s talking about the two points that we see devices coming onto the market, in spring – which is the big launch time for devices from Samsung, LG, Hauwei and others based around Mobile World Congress – and the second is later in the autumn and includes the likes of Apple and Google.

One of the big events for Qualcomm in 2019 was reaching an agreement with Apple; that’s yet to really demonstrate itself in Qualcomm’s figures, but it is something that’s referenced several times in the latest earnings report. It was considered by many to be access to a 5G modem that played a big part in this agreement being reached.

Rumours have predicted that we’ll see Apple offering a 5G phone in 2020. While that’s 12-18 months later than many rivals like Samsung, it does give the 5G networks time to mature and will likely be the time that 5G shifts into the mainstream. It will also mean that Apple can deliver on the 5G experience with its device, without the backlash that there’s a lack of network coverage to make it worth it. 

While Qualcomm doesn’t directly say that Apple will bring the big 5G boost in 2020, Qualcomm does have a positive outlook for growth in devices on 5G hardware in the next year. In reality, it’s a case of watching this space: Apple remains tight-lipped as ever and we’ll not know its plans for sure until the new iPhone is revealed.


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