Having 5G networks naturally isn’t enough to get 5G adopted by the masses. More than just high-end premium phones, there is an even bigger need to cater to the mid-range market that comprises a large chunk of smartphone users around the world. That is one segment where Qualcomm may have slipped behind its biggest rival, MediaTek, but it won’t be taking things sitting down, of course. Qualcomm has just announced three new 5G chipsets and one 4G processor that might power the next batch of smartphones later this year.
For almost a year now, MediaTek has been reported by market analysts as having surpassed Qualcomm in terms of shipment volumes, though that doesn’t necessarily imply having bigger profits during that same period. Part of MediaTek’s success was attributed to targeting the mid-range smartphone tier with a plethora of 5G processors alongside its usual flood of 4G chips. Of course, Qualcomm does have 5G processors on those tiers, too, but MediaTek beat it in numbers and possibly in prices.
Qualcomm will be addressing at least one of those points with its three new 5G chips spanning its three mid-range lines. The Snapdragon 778G+ is pretty much an overclocked Snapdragon 778G with support for Qualcomm FastConnect, while the Snapdragon 695 brings support for both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks as well as 120Hz refresh rates for HD+ screens. The Snapdragon 480+ will be the new entry-level 5G chipset that represents a small speed bump over the Snapdragon 480.
A few major smartphone brands were quick to voice their support for the upcoming processors, with HMD Global paying special attention to the Snapdragon 480+. OPPO, on the other hand, is quite interested in the global 5G promise of the Snapdragon 695, and Xiaomi is committing to adopting the Snapdragon 778G+ and the 695. Honor, Motorola, and vivo are also onboard to bring these chips to a new generation of affordable 5G phones.
Qualcomm says that these mobile 5G platforms are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of the year, so expect phones to come either at the end of 2021 or early 2022. Not to leave non-5G markets out, Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 680 4G, a 6nm chip that’s more focused on applications like gaming and imaging rather than keeping up with the latest fads.