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Affordable 5G smartphones are coming by end-2020, says Oppo’s vice president

The company will release its first 5G model in China soon.

Photo source: shutterstock.com

Chinese consumers will be able to get their hands on a 5G phone for just over USD 200 by the end of the next year, according to Oppo’s vice president Wu Qiang, who spoke with local media PingWest on Wednesday.

Wu also predicted that more than 150 million 5G mobile phones will be shipped in 2020, and estimated that every smartphone about RMB 3000 (USD 424) will be 5G-compatible by next year.

Currently, the cheapest 5G phone in the Chinese market is the recently launched Honor V30, starting at RMB 3,299 (USD 468), sporting a 6.57-inch punch-hole 1080p screen, and powered by Huawei’s Kirin 990 processor coupled with Balong 5000 modem for 5G connectivity. It is the first 5G handset by Honor, a budget phone brand part of Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Guangdong-based Oppo, a spinoff of Chinese electronics company BBK and the world’s fifth smartphone maker, announced its plans to release its first 5G model in China soon, the dual-mode Reno 3 Pro, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. Oppo will also release a line of 5G smartphones boosting Qualcomm’s latest higher-end Snapdragon 865 chip in the first quarter of 2020, the company said on Tuesday at a Qualcomm conference held in Hawaii.

Oppo’s sub-brand Realme announced Monday that it will only release 5G devices in China in 2020, joining the 5G race where Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, Samsung, and Apple are all saddling up, KrASIA reported.

During the same Qualcomm conference, Oppo’s rival Xiaomi also said its flagship model Mi 10, which is expected to come out in the first quarter of 2020, will be one of the first 5G devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip.

The prediction offered by Oppo points out a trend that 5G will cover all-tier smartphones by 2020 in China.

Oppo’s sister brand Vivo, also a spinoff of BBK, is currently leading the scene in China in terms of 5G market share with a 54.3% in the third quarter of 2019, according to research institution IDC. Tech tycoon Huawei and challenger Xiaomi followed with 9.5% and 4.6% share, respectively.

The adoption of 5G is not only limited to mobile phones. With the popularization of the technology, more application scenarios will be explored, including wearable devices, connected cars and more. US-based chipmaker Qualcomm has been also trying to persuade phone makers to adopt its 5G chip Snapdragon 865Reuters reported, and is also offering a cheaper variant, the Snapdragon 765, which will include 5G connectivity to spread the technology on lower-priced phones.

Both Oppo and Xiaomi are Qualcomm’s main customers, each accounting for more than 10% of Qualcomm’s USD 24.2 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.