Qualcomm Bullish on 5G Prospects, Forecasts 450 Million 5G Smartphone Shipping in 2021

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 19 Nov 2019

Qualcomm’s Analyst Day is interesting as it gives us a sneak peek at all the latest technology. In the latest edition of Analyst Day, the chipmaker says that it expects 450 million 5G smartphones to be shipped by 2021. In 2022, Qualcomm expects another 750 million devices to join the 5G bandwagon.

Previously, Qualcomm forecasted 200 million 5G devices for the next year. In other words, the forecasts depict 125% YoY growth between 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, the chip maker also believes that 5G adoption will be faster than 4G due to the availability of chips and other associated parts. The figures from Qualcomm hold ground since they supply hardware to a majority of smartphone makers.

The 5G is expected to be better in every possible was as compared to 4G. To begin with, streaming videos and multiplayer gameplay will become much easier. At this point in time, we have a very limited number of 5G enabled devices. However, the number will grow steadily once Apple and others join the 5G bandwagon. It is also important for telecom carriers to ramp up their 5G coverage globally.

Our Take

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will have to increase the size of the logic board on the 2020 iPhones by 10% to make space for the 5G modem and other new technologies. This will lead to a 35% increase in component costs for the company. Apple is also working on an in-house 5G modem, however, it is expected to be ready by 2022, until then Apple will source 5G modems from Qualcomm.

U.S. operators are already working to deploy their 5G networks and it is important they ensure their LTE networks deliver the best performance possible. With 5G availability being spotty at best, high-speed LTE networks are important to ensure there’s not a major disruption in user experience while switching networks.

[via Reuters]