This yr’s Mobile World Congress — the CES for Android gadget makers — was awash with 5G handsets.
The world’s No.1 smartphone vendor by marketshare, Samsung, received out forward with a standalone launch occasion in San Francisco, exhibiting off two 5G gadgets, simply earlier than fast-following Android rivals popped out their very own 5G telephones at launch occasions throughout Barcelona this week.
We’ve rounded up all these 5G handset launches right here. Prices vary from an eye-popping $2,600 for Huawei’s foldable phabet-to-tablet Mate X — and an equally eye-watering $1,980 for Samsung’s Galaxy Fold; one other 5G handset that bends — to a fairly extra affordable $680 for Xiaomi’s Mi Mix three 5G, albeit the gadget is in any other case mid-tier. Other costs for 5G telephones introduced this week stay tbc.
Android OEMs are clearly hoping the hype round next-gen cellular networks can work a little bit advertising magic and kick-start stalled smartphone progress. Especially with studies suggesting Apple gained’t launch a 5G iPhone till not less than subsequent yr. So 5G is an area Android OEMs alone get to personal for some time.
Chipmaker Qualcomm, which is embroiled in a bitter patent battle with Apple, was additionally on stage in Barcelona to assist Xiaomi’s 5G cellphone launch — loudly claiming the next-gen tech is coming quick and can improve “everything”.
“We like to work with companies like Xiaomi to take risks,” lavished Qualcomm’s president Cristiano Amon upon his hosts, utilizing 5G uptake to jibe at Apple by implication. “When we look at the opportunity ahead of us for 5G we see an opportunity to create winners.”
Despite the heavy hype, Xiaomi’s on stage demo — which it claimed was the primary reside 5G video name outdoors China — appeared oddly staged and was not precisely missing in latency.
“Real 5G — not fake 5G!” completed Donovan Sung, the Chinese OEM’s director of product administration. As a 5G gross sales pitch it was all very underwhelming. Much extra ‘so what’ than ‘should have’.
Whether 5G advertising hype alone will persuade shoppers it’s previous time to improve appears extremely unlikely.
Phones promote on options fairly than connectivity per se, and — no matter Qualcomm claims — 5G is being soft-launched into the market by cash-constrained carriers whose increase occasions lie behind them, i.e. earlier than over-the-top gamers had devoured their messaging revenues and monopolized shopper eyeballs.
All of which makes 5G an incremental shopper improve proposition within the close to to medium time period.
Use-cases for the next-gen community tech, which is…