The launch of the Qualcomm SD690 5G SoC (System on a Chip) brings 5G to the smart phone mid-market.
Until now Qualcomm 5G Gen 2 modems were only in the 2020 SD865 flagship (which means prices around $1500+) and the SD 765/768 mid-range (which means prices around $999+).
The Qualcomm SD690 5G is for smartphones in the $599+ market. Already companies, including HMD Global (Nokia), LG Electronics, Motorola, OPPO/realme/vivo, and TCL have expressed their interest and will produce phones in the coming months. Qualcomm expects over 1800 models to use the chip.
Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated said of the Qualcomm SD690 5G
“There are over 375 5G designs using Qualcomm Technologies’ current 5G solution. It is driving the proliferation of 5G across multiple [market] tiers to make the next generation of camera, artificial intelligence, and gaming experiences more broadly available.”
What this does is lessen the price gap between 4G and 5G handsets, making it no brainer for adoption. Just as 4K TVs killed 1080p once the price was the same! Now don’t be surprised if we see an announcement for an SD5XX 5G SoC soon.
Below that lower cost smartphones can’t afford to have the memory or processing power needed for 5G.