Despite various obstacles, affordable smartphones with that technology are already underway, according to experts from the CNET portal.
The specialists of the CNET portal on Tuesday analyzed why 5G phones are so expensive, and together with other experts, they predicted that the first ‘smartphones’ of reduced price and with that technology would appear already in the first half of 2020.
5G technology is slowly becoming one of the main features of most modern smartphones. However, at the moment, it is too expensive.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G costs more than $ 2,000, just like the Huawei Mate X 5G. At the same time, there is the Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G, which is relatively much cheaper (about 520 dollars), but it is not sold in some countries, including the US.
It is due to the high cost of producing 5G phones, experts say.
Why are they expensive?
First, it should be noted that the same 5G chips, which can communicate with the operator’s network and without which phone will never reach the declared speeds, are quite expensive in themselves.
Also, these chips are currently tailored for the particular wireless spectrum of each operator. Therefore, if you buy a Galaxy S10 5G for AT&T, 5G data will not necessarily work on T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint, CNET explains.
Another factor is that most of the chips are not yet integrated.
A separate modem means that phone manufacturers have to spend money on one more item.
The fact that the modem is separated also leads to it occupying more space inside the phone cavity, which means less space for the battery.
There is a solution?
However, these obstacles may soon be eliminated, since the Qualcomm company is working on the way to integrate the chipsets and modems into a single unit.
The largest mobile chipmaker in the world also plans to make 5G available in multiple operator bands. Both changes will simplify what it takes to build a 5G phone, which in turn should make it cheaper, says CNET.
“We see that 5G devices are becoming quite conventional,” said the senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm’s 4G and 5G chip business, Durga Malladi, adding that he can also see that “the price path is going in the right direction.”.
“As 5G modems begin to integrate into the main mobile processors, which providers like Qualcomm are expected to do in 2020, this will allow for lower-cost 5G phones to appear,” Bob O’Donnell said. , analyst of the market research firm Technalysis.
“But many of them will not be available until the end of next year or by 2021, ” he added.
“The same thing happened with 4G will happen again with 5G.”
For their part, CNET specialists stress that cheaper 5G phones will have to “make some compromises” to reach that lower price.
“Get to the idea that these economic phones will have slower 5G speeds, will have a lower power camera, reduced graphics, and a shorter battery life than more advanced models,” warns the portal.
“Over time, some of those features will improve. It happened with 4G, and it will happen again with 5G,” the experts concluded.