HMD Global has confirmed at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit that many of its upcoming Nokia branded smartphones will be 5G ready and run on the Snapdragon 765 platform.
The Snapdragon 865 will be the flagship high-end mobile processor from Qualcomm for 2020 but it doesn’t have an integrated 5G modem. Curiously, the lower-powered 765 does have one integrated, meaning Nokia phones with the chip should all be 5G compatible.
This is in line with a presentation given by Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global at the summit, who showed slides claiming the company was looking to bring ‘future proof 5G’ to its handsets:
Next up is @sarvikas talking about the @HMDGlobal and @Qualcomm partnership, and the future of Nokia phones on 5G. Given Nokia makes a lot of infrastructure, Future proof 5G is definitely a thing! #snapdragonsummit #snapdragon865 pic.twitter.com/CZadLKcOvG— Nirave 尼拉夫 (@nirave) December 3, 2019
This may mean the phones will happily run on 4G networks with a 4G SIM, with the option for people who buy the handsets to buy a 5G SIM later down the line as 5G networks become more widespread. Hopefully this is the case, as some 5G handsets do not accept 5G SIMs, and limit people to expensive 5G contracts.
“Our highest priority for 2020 is making 5G more accessible – bringing an affordable yet premium grade, future proof 5G experience for the best possible performance in NSA and SA networks with the Snapdragon 765 Mobile Platform,” said Sarvikas.
“Aside from being an excellent mobile platform for best-in-class 5G connectivity, Snapdragon 765 mobile platform allows us to offer breakthrough entertainment capabilities combined with our PureDisplay technology, and our unique ZEISS powered imaging solutions that enable fans to create and share amazing content over 5G.”
HMD has found its successes with its licensing of the famous Nokia brand by turning out competitive mid-range smartphones. It is wise of the company to focus on capturing the mid-range 5G market, particularly if its phones are 5G ready but don’t require a 5G SIM at launch.
Samsung, Oppo and OnePlus were first to market with 5G phones, but at great expense. There’s a real opportunity for HMD to command this market segment, though competition will be rife as 5G matures, with Xiaomi successfully entering the European market recently.