Market Insight

Mobile World Congress 2019; A veritable parade of new 5G smartphones and modems

March 06, 2019  | Subscribers Only

Wayne Lam Wayne Lam Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices & Networks

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Mobile World Congress 2019 was anticipated to showcase brand new 5G smartphone designs and the conference did not disappoint. Even before the show officially started, there were 6 smartphone designs with 5G modems already announced:

  • Two from Samsung one week earlier; Galaxy S10 5G and the Galaxy Fold 5G
  • One new design from Oppo at a pre-show event
  • Similarly, Xiaomi presented a 5G version of their Mi MIX3 at another pre-show event
  • Huawei trotted out not only their first 5G smartphone (Mate X) but a ground-breaking foldable design to boot
  • And finally, LG announced the V50 5G designed to run on Sprint’s unique Sub-6GHz TDD (N41) 5G network.

During the show, Chinese OEMs ZTE and Nubia would also debut their first 5G designs; the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G and the Nubia Mini 5G.  Not to be overlooked, brands such as Sony and OnePlus re-iterated their intent to release 5G smartphones later this year while opting to demonstrate prototypes of 5G designs at their conference booths.

On the component side, Qualcomm’s first-generation Snapdragon X50 won the majority of modem socket [with the exception of HiSilicon Balong 5000 in the Huawei Mate X] in these very first 5G phones.  The San Diego mobile chipset juggernaut had just announced their second-generation 5G chipset one week prior to the MWC 2019, the 7nm Snapdragon X55, extending their industry leadership in 5G modems.  Altogether, the growing list of competitive 5G modems available to the market now stand at six with solutions from Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel, Mediatek, HiSilicon and UNISoC.

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