Qualcomm’s next Snapdragon chip suggests 2020 really will be the year of 5G phones

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Qualcomm just provided another reason why you should wait until at least 2020 before investing in a 5G phone. We already know the carriers largely won’t be able to deliver this year. But Qualcomm’s first integrated 5G Snapdragon won’t be ready until then, either.

Qualcomm currently ships both Snapdragon smartphone processors and its separate X55 modem chip, with support for 5G technologies. The two chips sit alongside one another, meaning that smartphone vendors have to design larger, bulkier, more power-hungry phones to accommodate them both.

By the second quarter of 2019, Qualcomm said its first Snapdragon chip with an onboard 5G modem would ship, in time for commercial smartphones using it to ship about a year later, around the second quarter of 2020. “The new integrated Snapdragon 5G mobile platform features Qualcomm 5G PowerSave technology to enable smartphones with the battery life users expect today,” Qualcomm added.

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