This is a huge step forward and an enormous commitment by some of China's largest manufacturers which have committed to an updated deadline. Cristiano took the stage together with representatives from Lenovo Group Ltd., Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd., Vivo Communication Technology Co., Ltd., Xiaomi Communications Co., Ltd., ZTE Corporation and Wingtech Technology Co., Ltd. to give support to working together on this initiative. These companies aim to accelerate the availability of commercial 5G premium tier devices expected in 2019.
Customers in China, currently the biggest mobile market in the word that keeps growing, has shown an increased interest in 5G. the recent 5G consumer survey conducted by Qualcomm Technologies shows that 60 percent of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase 5G smartphones when available. This is why the big names want to have it available on day one.
According to Counterpoint Research, in 2017, seven of the top ten global 3G/4G smartphone manufacturers were from China. The change and shift have already happened and it can continue with the introduction of 5G. More Chinese vendors are going after global markets too.
A year ago at MWC 17, LG decided to launch G6, powered by the last year's Snapdragon 821 and this experiment that resulted in disappointing sales. Customers wanted 2017 technology and went to the competitors, mainly Samsung Galaxy 8 or Xiaomi Mi6, as these went for the latest greatest Snapdragon 835.
This is a good indication why China and the worldwide customers will want the 5G SoC, the latest of greatest of 2019 in their phone. It all makes perfect sense.
The “5G Pioneer” Initiative is in place to help the Chinese manufacturers with the platform they need to develop premium tier and global 5G commercial devices. Of course, a lot of companies will also focus on other potentially game-changing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to continue to drive technological evolution and industry transformation worldwide.
Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm Incorporated said: “5G will bring massive new opportunities to the mobile industry, and we are excited to work with these manufacturers on this 5G Pioneer Initiative. Qualcomm Technologies has close relationships within China’s mobile and semiconductor ecosystem, and we’ll continue to work with this ecosystem to drive innovation as we move from the 3G/4G era to the 5G era.”
“Lenovo started 5G technology research as well as productization since the global communications industry began the 5G standard-setting process, and we have been working closely with Qualcomm Technologies in both aspects,” said Yuanqing Yang, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. “We hope to make our personal life and work smarter, and enable intelligent transformation across multiple industries through our concerted efforts.”
“OPPO is committed to bringing superior camera smartphones to young people, and focus on technological innovation in mobile photo capturing,” said Andy Wu, vice president of OPPO. “Working on 5G Pioneer Initiative will help us to better innovate 5G mobile technologies, further expanding OPPO business worldwide on the existing basis and allowing more young people to have access to purchase OPPO smartphones.”
“In the coming 5G era, we are pleased to maintain a close relationship with Qualcomm Technologies and continue to introduce high-quality smartphones, while expanding our overseas business network,” said Wei Shen, CEO of vivo. “vivo has embarked on studying 5G and potential new technologies of the next generation of smartphones since two years ago, and planned to conduct 5G pre-commercial device research and experiments in pace with 5G development, in an attempt to commercialize 5G smartphones as early as 2019.”
“We are pleased to work closely with Qualcomm Technologies as Xiaomi has introduced generations of many smartphones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms,” said Bin Lin, Co-founder & President of Xiaomi. “For more broader opportunities that 5G will bring to Xiaomi, we will keep exploring and innovating on future technologies, insist on building high-quality smartphones for users worldwide, and deliver Xiaomi’s products to users in a broader range of regions.”
“We are excited and are honored to be a part of the 5G Pioneer Initiative,” said Lixin Cheng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices. “ZTE established itself as a market leader in 5G research and development with the announcement at MWC 2017 of the world's first gigabit smartphone with download speeds up to 1 Gbps, and we are committed to being a leading supplier of 5G commercial devices and solutions, with plans to launch in 2019. We will continue to strengthen our position in the global market through high-end smartphone manufacturing and branding.”
“As China’s leading ecosystem platform for mobile device and smart hardware industries, Wingtech provides services for a host of world-leading mobile device customers,” said Xuezheng Zhang, Chairman from Wingtech. “We are pleased to participate in the introduction of the 5G Pioneer Initiative to deepen our ongoing cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies, and help Chinese handset manufacturers to build more high-end smartphones and deliver 5G mobile devices to the global market as early as possible in the future. Wingtech will also build 5G Always Connected PCs in addition to 5G Premium Tier Smartphones, as 5G will make Always Connected PC the global standard.”
The game is on.